Thursday, June 30, 2011

500 Slaves Freed from Brick Kilns in India

More than 500 slaves rescued from brick kilns

From CNN's Mallika Kapur

Chennai, India - Beaten with rods, belts and subjected to other forms of abuse, the bonded laborers toiled away in a tiny brick kiln in southern India day after day with little hope of freedom and escape.

But on a tip, officials from the government of Tamil Nadu state in India raided the kiln. What they found shocked them: More than 500 people living and working under a brutal and oppressive system.

"We worked all the time. We would only stop to eat," says 20-year-old Dambru Jani, who was rescued in the raid. "If we tried to rest, they'd abuse us and force us to work again."

Saju Mathew is the national director for the International Justice Mission, the human rights group that assisted the government with the raid. He said that even though India banned bonded labor in 1976, the practice of paying back a loan or advance with work, not money, still exists...(Read More at

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