Sold into Slavery at 6 Years Old

Delhi, India

On 29th August 2018, Justice Ventures International and partner organization EFICOR worked with local police to conduct the rescue of twelve boys from illegal bonded child labor in the area of Nabi Karim in Central Delhi.

On the day of the rescue, the team split into three units and entered the building where they believed the illegal operation to be housed. The team found children as young as six years old, working in hazardous and extremely unhygienic conditions. The children stitched bags for 15-16 hours a day in filthy, dingy and congested rooms. The rescue team on the third floor found four children working without shirts because of the heat in that small and overcrowded room. All twelve victims belonged to the same village in West Bengal and were trafficked and employed by the same person.

One of the children mentioned that he was trafficked because he belonged to a lower caste than that of the employer.

The boys were also not permitted to leave the building on their own. The employer set up surveillance cameras on each floor of the building to ensure the children would not escape. The employer was reported to physically abuse the children if they did not work.

The building in which children were found working were sealed by the Sub Divisional Magistrate to prevent further entry, while the rescue team escorted the children to a safe place where they received food and medical attention. JVI staff assisted members of the Labour Department and Child Welfare Committee (CWC) in verifying and documenting the details of each child’s case. The children were later taken to a temporary shelter home where they will receive counseling and additional support.

JVI lawyers are working with the police and prosecutors to hold the offenders accountable. Our partners are searching to find the families of the children and reunite them, where appropriate. JVI will continue to work with its partners over the next 24 months to ensure the children remain safe and secure.

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