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NHRC issues fresh advisory on bonded labour

14/12/2021 at 5:46 PM

New Delhi, Dec 14: Justice Arun Mishra, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Chairman has expressed serious concerns over the inordinate delay in the release of relief package to the victims of bonded labour.

In a fresh advisory to the Centre, States and UTs, the Commission has asked them to make efforts to delink the issue of relief package from the outcome of the criminal proceedings in the case as the victim has no control nor is associated in the trial.

With the prevalence of bonded labour, the Commission said that the focus of the State and District level functionaries should not only be limited to brickkilns alone but also in domains where bonded labour system has manifested itself in newer forms like in construction industry, shopping malls, call centres, massage parlour, etc.

The newer forms of bonded labour need to be identified for providing relief to them as per the existing Act and Scheme.

The proposed National Portal on Bonded Labour should, inter-alia, include Rehabilitation Data, details of visit and functioning of Vigilance Committees, data obtained from the State labour departments, data relating to surveys, data on advancement of cash and non-cash benefits to Bonded Labour, pending criminal cases and date of initiation and outcome and features of case management.

The District Administration should bear the expenses of providing food and safe transportation facilities to the released labourers.

In context of Non-Cash Assistance, the District Magistrate should ensure that the benefits available under CSS-2016 are given to the families of released bonded labourers.

The Commission has asked the State Governments and UTs to identify households in extreme vulnerable conditions so as to prevent any instance of bonded labour by providing them with free ration, healthcare and other social security cover to the vulnerable and the marginalised communities.

The Commission has also asked to fix the accountability of the officers and bridging the gaps in the implementation of the legal provisions.

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