‘Reply to plea on assistancefor bonded labour victims’

The High Court on Thursday sought response from the Centre as well as Delhi government to a plea seeking financial assistance for the rehabilitation of victims of child and bonded labour who have been rescued from the Capital.

A Bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh asked the Union Ministry of Labour and the Delhi government to give their respective stands on the plea filed by the father of one of child. The case has been posted for hearing on February 8.

Mohd Kadir Ansari in his petition sought relief for 88 victims of child and bonded labour, which included his own minor son — who came to Delhi from Bihar at the age of 12 years, seeking work.

Mr. Ansari said during the course of his son’s employment, he (the child) was subjected to severe abuse for over two months at the hands of the ‘trafficker/ employer’. The accused compelled the child to work for around 14 hours a day and for wages less than the prescribed minimum wages.

He alleged failure on the part of the authorities to provide his child and other similarly placed victims with ‘rehabilitative financial assistance’ as applicable under the Central Sector Scheme 2016 (CS Scheme).

According to the petition, the Delhi High Court had in 2018 issued the ‘Standard Operating Procedure for Identification of Bonded Labourers and Release of Immediate Financial Assistance’ (SOP), which also contained specific stipulations regarding financial assistance to rescued child and bonded labourers.

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