South Asia

14 Teens and Young Adults Rescued from Cross-Country Labour Trafficking

23 November 2022

CHENNAI, INDIA – Government officials in two Indian states acted swiftly to rescue 14 teens and young adults from bonded labour at an abusive brick kiln.

The case originated from the state of Chhattisgarh, where a group of parents told officials about three teen girls who were suspected to have been trafficked and trapped at a kiln in southern India. The officials reported the case to their counterparts in the Karur District of Tamil Nadu, who immediately conducted a rescue operation on 23 November.

After inspecting the brick kiln and interviewing the workers, authorities found the three girls and 11 additional teens and young adults who had been trafficked. All 14 victims (four men and ten women) were brought to safety at a government office, where they received Release Certificates to mark their freedom as well as food, medical check-ups, and other support. Within 24 hours of the rescue, police filed a First Information Report (FIR) and arrested two suspects involved in their abuse.

On 25 November, authorities assisted the survivors in returning home safely to Chhattisgarh, where IJM will help coordinate their ongoing aftercare with relevant agencies.

IJM staff were encouraged by the proactivity and professionalism of the government officials involved in this case. The District Collector overseeing the rescue, Dr. Prabhu Shankar, has already proven himself a champion of bonded labourers through past rehabilitation projects. The other officials utilised IJM’s trainings to act swiftly and sensitively to help these vulnerable teens.

Cases like this demonstrate not only increasing momentum in the fight against bonded labour, but also the strength and willingness of local governments to protect vulnerable children, women, and men.

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