In a single day, 50 bonded labourers have been rescued by the government, supported by an IJM partner, from three different brick kilns.
One of IJM’s grassroots partners referred a case of forced labour to the government officials. Following this, officials visited two brick kilns and conducted enquiries. Some labourers had been at the facility for 20 years. When one man, who had been forced to work for almost two decades, committed suicide in his desperation, his wife and son had been forced to take his place in the kiln.
During the on-site enquiry, labourers from a third brick kiln nearby approached the government officials and asked to be rescued with the others. The labourers at this facility had been held for four years.
The labourers reported physical abuse and lack of freedom of movement. When the lead government official on the case spoke with these families during the enquiry, IJM’s partner reports that he
“was moved by how they had been bonded for this long and hadn’t been brought to anyone’s attention.”
Thanks to IJM’s partner, the plight of these labourers was brought to the attention of the government. And thanks to the proactiveness of the officials, 50 labourers from three brick kilns have been brought into freedom.
The survivors are waiting for their Release Certificates to be issued and will return to their homes.
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