North India

Eight child labourers rescued from matchbox factory in Jaipur

The rescued children, aged between 13 to 17 years, were trafficked by one Hira Kumar from their native village in Bihar's Madhepura district. Hira lured them on the pretext of providing them a better life and gainful employment in the Pink City.

Jaipur: At least eight child labourers were rescued from a matchbox factory in the Bindayaka industrial area in Jaipur on Tuesday.

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The rescued children, aged between 13 to 17 years, were trafficked by one Hira Kumar from their native village in Bihar’s Madhepura district. Hira lured them on the pretext of providing them a better life and gainful employment in the Pink City.

The children told the rescue team that they were “forced” to work under “stressful and inhuman condition” in the matchbox factory for long hours in two shifts per day. Despite feeling tired and sleepy due to overnight work, we could not sleep due to fear of accident as we were working on machines.”

The children told the team that the factory owner made them work for up to 72 hours in a week. The factory owner had rented a small room near the factory, where all the children were provided food.

The children had been employed in the factory couple of months ago.

Expressing his distress over the employment of under-age children, Manish Sharma, director of Bachpan Bachao Andolan said, “Though we have tough laws to protect children from all kinds of exploitation and child labour, people continue to force minor children to work in hazardous activities and exploit them. Many corrupt people are also trafficking young children and forcing them into child labour. These are serious crime and the government should make the child protection and law enforcement agencies proactive at all levels to curb rising crimes against children. The Union government must enact the anti-trafficking bill at the earliest to curb the problem.”

Matchbox factory comes under the Hazardous Occupation under the law of the land.

The Police have registered a case under different sections of Juvenile Justice Act, Child Labour Prohibition Act and Bonded Labour Act.

All the children have undergone medical examination and have been produced before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC). The children have now been sheltered at Child Care Institution (CCI).

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