NHRC raps six states for ‘lackadaisical’ rehab of child labourers

New Delhi : The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Friday reprimanded Bihar and five other states for having “adopted lackadaisical attitude” in the rehabilitation of 740 bonded child labourers, mostly from Bihar, who were rescued from various parts of Rajasthan.

Of the rescued children, there were 610 from Bihar, while the rest were from other states including Rajasthan, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and the national capital territory (NCT) of Delhi.

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The states have also been issued notice to take specific action. A notice has been issued to the Labour Commissioner, government of Rajasthan, calling for an action taken report, indicating the reasons for non-issue of the Release Certificates.

The children were rescued between March 2013 and July 2014.

“Notices have been issued for specific actions to the concerned authorities in all the six states with directions to submit action taken reports within eight weeks,” said an NHRC statement.

During the course of enquiry, the NHRC found that 740 child labourers were rescued.

“The release certificates were issued for only 456 children from Bihar. However, they were not given copies of the release certificates by the concerned authorities in Rajasthan,” the NHRC statement said.

“Release certificates for 284 rescued bonded child labourers were yet to be issued, which are essential to start their rehabilitation process in their respective states by the concerned district administration,” read the statement.

NHRC member Justice D. Murugesan observed that no heed was paid to the miseries of the rescued children.

“The issue of the rescue of child labourers is not merely an instance of employing a child in violation of laws. It is rather more heinous in nature that children are being taken from one state to another, which cannot happen without the involvement of human/child traffickers,” the statement added.

Justice Murugesan also observed that no report has been submitted by the state agencies of the six state governments regarding the action taken on rehabilitation, and plan to curb the menace of child trafficking.