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TN panel to conduct scientific study of bonded labourers

The government has also roped in experts and stakeholders from non-government organisations such as UNICEF and International Justice Mission to support the authorities in the study.

CHENNAI: Soon, the state labour department would launch a scientific study to identify the socio-economic factors for the prevalence of child and bonded labourers in the state.

A state-level committee has been constituted to take up the Tamil Nadu wide study. The outcome of the study would reflect in the framing of government policies and schemes for better intervention and rehabilitation to end child labour and abolish bonded labour system.

Principal secretary/commissioner of labour Atul Anand would head the committee as chairperson, while officials from education, Tamil Nadu construction workers welfare board, social defence and a police official attached to crime against women and children wing would be part of the committee.

The government has also roped in experts and stakeholders from non-government organisations such as UNICEF and International Justice Mission to support the authorities in the study.

“The role of the committee is to identify the socio-economic factors that take away the rights of the children and their childhood, while forcing marginalised section of the society into bondage. It would also recommend ways and means to address the core issues to put an end to child and bonded laourers in the state,” said an official in the labour department.

The committee would also recommend rehabilitation schemes that ensure social security net and better livelihood of released bonded labourers and negate re-bondage. The committee would also meet four times in a year to take stock of intervention and rehabilitation programmes. “It is aimed to rectify any shortfall in the rehabilitation mechanism,” said the official.

State-level conference at Virudhunagar on Dec 12

Minister for Labour CV Ganesan told DT Next that the state is inching towards the goal of child labourer free state. It has been taking several measures to achieve it. “We have directed the district collectors to work in tandem with the line departments to identify child labourers and bonded labourers in their respective districts and rescue them,” the Minister said.

Special focus would be in industries that are prone to child and bonded labourer systems such as cracker units and brick kilns. “We are organising a state-level conference at Virudhunagar on December 12. Owners of cracker units will be invited for the programme and they will be educated against employing child labourers and bonded labourers,” the Minister said.

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