IJM staff, along with Indian Police, have rescued 564 children, women and men from forced labour slavery at a massive brick kiln. This became IJM’s largest anti-slavery operation to date and occurred at the same factory where they had rescued over 500 slaves in 2011.
Evading authorities during the first operation, the kiln owner and 5 of his accomplices have now been arrested. “The operation highlights a critical need in the fight against slavery: If criminals remain free, the violence will continue. But if laws are enforced and traffickers go to jail, we can end slavery for good.”
The operation began when one worker escaped the factory and called local authorities. He spoke of the harsh conditions and abuse which took place at the factory. IJM and Indian officials worked quickly, entering the kiln within a week. When told they were being set free, the labourers did not know how to react, they couldn’t believe it was real.
Police collected evidence while families collected their few belongings, excited to leave the horrid kiln they had been trapped within.
Immediately after the rescue, Indian officials and IJM provided the freed labourers with short-term shelter, food and medical care. Over the next 2 years, IJM staff will work with the families to assure they recover and rebuild their lives. IJM also plans to work with Indian Police to build a case against the kiln worker and the trafficking ring which allowed this horrible abuse to occur.
Updates will be posted as they become available.