Trafficked Children Rescued From Forced Labor

Four children, ages six to seventeen, along with six adults were rescued by government agency officers and staff from a bag manufacturing facility located in Mukthi Karnataka, India in February 2020.

After their rescue, the children were taken to the local police station to give their statements and file the necessary papers. Later they were admitted to the Government Boys Home in Bengaluru, Karnataka, India. A complete medical examination by the medical practitioner found that one of the boys was addicted to tobacco. The victims were given aftercare and assistance with rehabilitation.

With the exception of one victim working for the past four years, the others were recruited six months prior to their rescue. The five adults and the children were verbally guaranteed a monthly salary ranging between Rs 2,000 ($27 USD) and Rs 12,000 ($162 USD), yet India’s Labor Law states the minimum wage for this industry at Rs 13,000 ($176 USD). Each one was paid in advance, the sum ranging between Rs10,000 and Rs 40,000 ($135 USD and $543 USD), prior to being recruited by the agents.

Money was desperately needed by each of the victim’s families to pay for medical treatment, house repairs, and debts. Though the children were informed that their salary was directly given to their family, they were unsure how it was delivered or of the amount their family member received. Since they were all supposedly given an advance, no salary was paid out to the individuals working. The children were trafficked and taken by the proprietor and another worker from Bihar to the facility where they were forced to work alongside adults in the same environment.

Their working hours were gruesome and exploitative, forced to work six days a week, some Sundays, and nearly eleven hours a day in close quarters where the conditions were deplorable and extremely unsanitary. The same facility was used for sleeping, manufacturing, food preparation and cooking. The quality of rations was so poor that on the day of the rescue there was a sack of rotten potatoes and spoiled vegetables.

Child Impact is grateful for the work being completed by its rescue partner in India through Operation Child Rescue. Make your own impact on a child’s life by supporting Operation Child Rescue at https://childimpact.org/support/operation-child-rescue/.

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