Release and Rehabilitation of Bonded Labour
Bonded labour is any labour or service rendered under the bonded labour system, and is illegal in all of its forms. The Bonded Labour System (abolition) Act 1976 provides definitions as to what bonded labour is according to the law. A bonded labourer is a labourer who incurs or has presumed to have incurred a bonded debt. A bonded debt is an advance obtained/presumed to have been obtained by a bonded labourer under or in pursuance of the bonded labour system restrictions in employment and movement, working on nominal or no wages and beggar work.
The same email expressed concern about the lack of support from the Mirzapur district administration. This interaction identified the necessity to drastically increase working towards the abolition of bonded labour, and expand the organisation to reach out to everyone still subject to bonded labour systems.
What HRLN Does?
Main Concerns· Stronger enforcement of the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act 1976 through increased funding, and pressure on the existing Vigilance Committees
· The introduction of financial incentives for Vigilance Committees when they rescue bonded labourers to encourage greater action
· Amendment of the Bonded Labour Rehabilitation Scheme to allow for simultaneous prosecution of perpetrators and rehabilitation of victims
· Legislative changes to provide a strict time-frame between the identification and rehabilitation of bonded labourers
· Amendment of the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act 1976 to allow for more punitive measures to be taken against perpetrators of bonded labour
· Disclosure by the Indian Government of the rates of conviction and penalties imposed on perpetrators of bonded labour
· A more comprehensive rehabilitation package for victims of bonded labour that extends beyond cash and assets and provides for education and the allotment of secure and safe employment
· Greater government consultation with victims of bonded labour to ensure that rehabilitation packages are adequate and that the assets provided are appropriate
· Amendment of the Minimum Wages Act 1948
· Provide a minimum standard of living conditions for individuals living within their place of employment or in housing provided by their employer
· Ensure that workers are able to freely associate and become members of trade unions
· Nationwide awareness campaigns on bonded labour that warns individuals against accepting loans that are paid through continued employment
· Greater implementation of existing health and food schemes for India’s most vulnerable to provide alternatives to seeking loans from employers
· Stronger guidelines and policing of labour agents
· Greater access to employment and education schemes for rural and disadvantaged communities
· Enable victims who belong to the ST or SC communities to register FIR under the SC And The ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989
· The creation of greater links between the government, vigilance committees and NGOs working to free bonded labourers
HRLN ImpactSince its inception in December 2014, the NCCEBL has continued to grow and currently stretches over 10 states in India. Through advocacy and litigation, per year around 1,000 children and bonded labour are identified and rescued from brick kilns, construction sites, poultry farms, restaurants (’dhabhas’), shops, garbage collection sites, and as domestic workers. The NCCEBL and HRLN team have filed number of PILS and cases, some of the landmark cases are:
On 29th May 2017, the office of Deputy Commissioner of Police (South-West district) Delhi responded after conducting enquiry on the matter. The DCP’s report stated that after an inquiry it was discovered that Rehana Begum was not a bonded labourer and therefore no FIR was filed against the accused. On 6th July 2017, the NCCEBL has sent a mail to Deputy Commissioner regarding filing of FIR and taking legal actions against the accused, who have been continuously harassing Rehana Begum and her family. Rajasthan’s Baran district case — Mr. Maangi Lal Sahariya, along with his family, was illegally trafficked as bonded labourers from Madhya Pradesh to Baran district in Rajasthan. In 2016, after being approached by Mr Sahariya, NCCEBL team rescued the entire family from the house of their employer and was able to get release certificate issued for the family.
Srinagar rescue case — The team of the National Campaign Committee for Eradication of Bonded Labour (NCCEBL) on August 24 2018, rescued 11 bonded labourers and child labourers from Srinagar. The bonded labourers were trafficked from Bihar by agents, who had promised them work and later made them do forced work for contractors operating buildings in Srinagar district of Jammu & Kashmir. The bonded labourers were made to work for 17 hours altogether without proper meals and any wages. Even the minor children were not spared. They were made to do work at construction sites at Nowgam and Hyderpora areas in Srinagar district and some of them contracted diseases due to lack of any basic amenity.
High Court of Delhi directed the Anti Human Trafficking Unit to produce the trafficked minor girl before the court
Karna Bhakta Vs. Govt. of NCT of Delhi and Ors. W.P. (Crl.) 1397/2020
When the lockdown was announced there were a number of reports that were pouring in where people in bastis were unable t ...read more
At least 18 bonded labourers, who were rescued in 2014 from Mogga district in Punjab, let out a huge sigh of relief afte ...read more
After five days of struggle, around 39 bonded labourers who in January 2019 were trafficked from Chhatisgarh to a brick ...read more
As part of the continuous national campaign to eradicate the bonded labour and to rescue bonded labours across India, a ...read more
For a 17-year-old girl, who was locked in a room as a bonded labour, freedom came knocking on the doors of her employers ...read more
Chandigarh: Punjab and Haryana High Court has issued a notice to Centre, Punjab, and Haryana governments seeking a r ...read more
Manual scavenging case: Delhi high court reprimands state govt for failing to provide relief to rescued bonded labourer
Nirmal Gorana & Anr vs State NCT of Delhi & Ors Writ petition (Crl) 3177/2017 In 2007, HRLN’s initiave aga ...read more
A women and minor girl, who were working as bonded labourers in a house in New Delhi’s Shalimar Bagh, were rescued in ...read more
An eight-year journey of bonded labour finally came to an end for a minor girl from Delhi, who was rescued and restored ...read more
A woman from West Bengal, who was being held as a bonded labour, was rescued from Pathankot on Thursday (23rd August, 20 ...read more
Lack of action on child bonded labour: Delhi HC issues notice to state, asks for status reports on child labour schemes
Nirmal Gorana v Government of NCT of Delhi & Ors WP (Crl) 1011/2018 This petition made the grievance that despit ...read more
25 people from eight families were rescued on Saturday night after the National Campaign Committee For Eradication Of Bo ...read more