Over 40 % bonded labour cases not resolved: NHRC

NHRC blamed the nexus of police, bureaucracy and employers for delayed resolution of the cases.

New Delhi: Over 40 per cent of around 2,800
bonded labour cases which reached the National Human Rights
Commission in the past 18 years are yet to be solved with the
rights body on Friday blaming the nexus of police, bureaucracy and
employers for delayed resolution of the cases.

NHRC member Justice BC Patel said the mindset of
bureaucrats should change otherwise there would be no change
in the situation.

"Police, Sub Divisional Magistrate, Collectors and
employers have joined hands. Otherwise, how is this (continued
bonded labour) actively going on," Patel told reporters here.

He said whenever the Commission takes steps to curb the
practice, they do not get active support from the officials.

"They find one reason or another reason to delay things.

When we seek the report, when we summon them, there are
various excuses," he said.

According to NHRC statistics, a total of 2,792 cases of
bonded labour have been reported to the Commission since 1993
when it came into being. However, 751 cases are yet to be
closed as the Commission could do so in 1,645 cases only.

The NHRC, however, does have the number of labourers
rescued or rehabilitated in the 1,645 cases. "The figure of
2,792 is only the number of cases," Patel said.

Uttar Pradesh tops the list of bonded labour cases with
1,300 followed by Punjab 465, Haryana 425 and Rajasthan 105.
There were 45 cases from the national capital during the past
18 years.

There are ten states or union territories from where no
complaints were received in the past 18 years.


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