A total of  56 percent of brick makers in Afghan kilns are children under the age of 18 and 47 percent are 14 or younger, a new study has shown.

The United Nations-backed survey, Buried in Bricks: Rapid Assessment of Bonded Labour in Afghan Brick Kilns,  found that workers and their families are tied to a kiln as they have to repay the loans which they often take for basic necessities, medical expenses, weddings and funerals.

The survey, which was conducted between August and October 2011 in Nangarhar and Kabul provinces, found that 64 percent of trap  while living in Pakistan as refugees or migrants.

Sarah Cramer, lead author of the UN backed survey said, The issue of bonded and child labour is at its core an economic problem that requires economic solutions. We need to work together with the Government to find holistic responses to this phenomenon.

Article 49 of the Afghan Constitution prohibits bonded labour. Afghan Government has also ratified in ILO Convention 182, which came to force in Afghanistan last year, identifies bonded labour as one of the worst forms of child labor.

Cramer added that the aid provide by the ambassador actors are short-term humanitarian aid for immediate relief to bonded families. She wants a long-term programme to help the affected find more sustainable livelihoods and to break the inter-generational cycle of bonded labour.