CHENNAI: In a joint operation by IJM(international justice mission) and BBA( Bachpan Bachao Andolan, five child workers were rescued from a private water treatment plant at Koyambedu. The crackdown comes after BBA approached the Tamil Nadu government to observe immediate action to rescue child workers in the state, as a part of anti-child labour action month. Following this, an extensive search operation was carried out in various shops, hotels and industries.
A rescue team visited the water treatment plant in Koyambedu following reports of children being employed there. They rescued six workers - five between the ages of 12 and 16. They were taken to Regional Divisional Office, Chennai where a preliminary enquiry was carried out.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, Kural Amuthan, Director of Government Relations, IJM says, “Preliminary enquiry has revealed that all the five children were trafficked from Odisha. They were brought to Tamil Nadu on the promise of safe accommodation, good pay and three square meals and the parents were also paid an advance amount between Rs 5000 -15,000. It has been found that the children were subjected to inhumane long hours of work and were not provided with any protective gear, due to which they have developed skin conditions. The rescue team also found the premises to be extremely unhygienic.”
Explaining the course of action ahead, Amuthan says, “Two laws will be followed in this case - Bonded labour act (1976) and Child labour prohibition act (2016). The children will be presented before the child welfare committee (CWC), Chennai, following which parents of the rescued children will be intimated. The CWC will assess the fitness of the parents in grounds of whether they can provide for the child, not push them into child labour again, etc and if deemed fit the children will be reunited with their parents. If not, the children will be put in a rehabilitation programme. The children can also continue their education under the national child labour project if they wish to.”
Meanwhile, the employers will be facing legal action will be charged under IPC 370 if found guilty. (June 12 was observed as world day against child labour)....