More than 560 people, including women and children, have been rescued from slavery in India in International Justice Mission’s (IJM) largest ever rescue operation. Police, government officials and IJM staff released hundreds of families from forced labour at a brick kiln on the outskirts of Tiruvallur, Chennai, last March. They instigated the operation following a call from a labourer who had managed to escape. According to a statement from IJM, he shared “stories of shocking abuse”. When officers arrived, they found hundreds of people in forced labour.
Families received just 400 rupees (less than £5) per week in return for working from 3am every morning, and living in tents, or makeshift rooms with tin roofs. IJM said nearly 200 children
were living in the facility, almost half of whom were under five. Once they reached 12 years old, the majority of them worked alongside their parents. “When officials explained that rescue had arrived, many couldn’t believe it was real,” IJM said of the operation. “One government officer asked the crowd ‘Who wants to go free?’ but he was met with a stunned silence.
Slowly, one man raised his hand, then another. Soon dozens of tired hands shot into the air, ready to finally exit into safety.” IJM rescued more than 500 people from the same factory in 2011, and the owner and five others have now been arrested, facing charges under India’s anti-trafficking laws and Bonded Labour Act. “The operation highlights a critical need in the fight against slavery: If criminals remain free, the violence will continue,” IJM said. “But if laws are enforced and traffickers go to jail, we can end slavery for good.”
Source: International Justice Mission; Institute for Biblical Justice
Bible Study: Exodus 5:1-32
PRAISE God that these impoverished people have been freed from greed and exploitation.
PRAY for Christ’s justice to be released all over India.