Clay brick are the basic building blocks of most household construction around the globe, particularly in Asia. The brick production cycle involves multiple manual processes, including the mixing of clay, molding of the mix in cubical shape, drying (under the sun or artificially), firing through controlled heating, and finally cooling at specified temperatures.
China represents the largest global brick industry, followed by India (growing at the rate of 5-10% per year). While this industry has offered strength to each household, it has negative aspects in the context of health concerns for workers. Nearly 70% of brick kiln workers in South Asia are estimated to be working in bonded and forced labor, according to a 2016 report by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and Eco Bricks. Interestingly, researchers are learning more about the extent of slave labor in India and the Asian brick industry through satellite imagery. It is estimated that of these bonded laborers, 68% are involved in brick excavation and molding processes.