Issue certificates to rescued bonded labourers: NHRC

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Jalandhar, Mar 18 (UNI) National Human Rights Commission Special Rapporteur Dr LD Mishra today directed the Sub-Divisional Magistrates of the state to issue certificates to the released bonded labourers and provide them with relief from the goverment sponsored schemes to ensure their proper rehabilitation.

Dr Mishra said this in a meeting held here with government officials and represetives of various NGOs, to review the implementation of bonded labour and child labour acts in the state.

"So far, nearly three lakh bonded labourers had already been rehabilated under the schemes, in which an immidiate relief of Rs 20,000 was paid to the distressed," he said.

For complete eradication of the scourge of bonded labour and child labour, he stressed the need for coordination among the various government departments and other organisations working for the cause.

He also urged the NGOs to work in close coordination with the owners of the brick kilns in providing basic amenities at the site to the workers and education and medical aid for their children.

To create awareness regarding the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act and Child Labour (Prohibition and Abolition) Act, Dr Mishra gave a detailed presentation in which various legal provisions and judgements of Supreme Court on the issues were discussed. After the presentation, views of NGOs, trade union leaders and representatives of owner's association were sought and their issues were discussed so as to know the problems being faced in implemetation of the laws and to seek suggetions for better enforcement of these laws.

Dr Mishra stressed that the child who has not completed 14 years of age should not be allowed to work in hazardous occupation, and compulsory education should be ensured for each child under the Sarv Shikhar Abhiyan. The government, NGOs and civil society should work jointly to achieve the goal, he added.

UNI DP PS VN1809

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