shield arrow-simple-alt-top arrow-simple-alt-left arrow-simple-alt-right arrow-simple-alt-bottom facebook instagram linkedin medium pinterest rss search-alt shaper twitter video-play arrow-long-right arrow-long-left arrow-long-top arrow-long-bottom arrow-simple-right arrow-simple-left arrow-simple-bottom readio arrow-simple-top speaker-down plus minus cloud hb pin camera globe cart rotate Group-35 star edit arrow-top arrow-right arrow-left arrow-bottom check search Close square speaker-up speaker-mute return play pause love new-tab equalizer
Back to Stories

Social Media Helps IJM Partner NGO Rescue of 56 from a Brick Kiln

Share

Social Media Helps IJM Partner NGO Rescue of 56 from a Brick Kiln

IJM and our casework partner Jai Bhim Vikas Shikshan Sansthan (JBVSS) supported a complicated rescue operation in the state of Haryana. Fifty-six people—including many young children and babies—were brought out of bondage at a brick kiln, aided by the use of social media during the COVID-19 lockdown.

L

abourers in the kiln managed to send an emotional video to a journalist and JBVSS staff after spending months working nonstop. The kiln owner had given them a payment advance to work there, but then multiplied this debt and used it to keep them in bondage. Some labourers recently managed to scrape money together to pay their “debts” and leave, but the poorer families were trapped without hope.

The families also experienced repeated physical violence and threats and were not allowed to leave the worksite, even to buy food. By the time they called for help, they had been surviving for nearly a week only on cucumbers.


“The owner doesn’t give us any water to drink or food to eat,” one woman shared in her appeal. “He threatens to beat us with sticks if we don’t pay off the debt…All workers here are starving. Please save us. We are begging you to help us.”

Another woman shared, “Our kids are suffering. There’s no water and they are thirsty. There’s absolutely nothing to eat either…We are suffering here. We have a small hut, and the strong winds blow the tin [roof] off. How do we protect our children?”

“It’s been three months of being here,” a third woman shared woefully. “[The owner] does not give us any daily wages and says we have to work off the debt. He threatens us that if we don’t work to pay off the debt, he will make us dance naked…Get us out of here. Everyone here is dying of hunger and thirst. What do we do?”

IJM Partner begins to take action

On June 24, JBVSS started mobilizing the local community to help these desperate families. Using social media, they found grassroots NGOs who agreed to safely drop off food at the kiln (see this Twitter thread). Meanwhile, JBVSS started meeting with various local government officials—hoping to move them to action in the case.

That evening, a group of officials arrived at the kiln to resolve the situation. They quickly documented each of the labourers at the kiln, provided a small amount of compensation for their lost wages, and then arranged transportation to take them out of the kiln. JBVSS then helped arrange the families’ travel back to their homes in the nearby state of Uttar Pradesh.

On June 25, media coverage of the case reached officials at the Labor Department, who are conducting a fuller inquiry into the abuses these families faced. IJM will also connect the survivors to a lawyer in Haryana who can file a case on their behalf to the High Court. Two survivors remained in Haryana to provide their testimony, while the others returned home by bus on June 26.

Become a Freedom Partner Today

You might also be interested in…

see more
Joint operation rescues 4 minors, arrests 2 suspects of online sexual exploitation of children

An Aussie police tip-off has led Philippine authorities to rescue 4 young children from cybersex trafficking and arrest their guardians. The 3 girls and 1 boy were aged between 2 and 8. Tragically, they were in the care of a couple who instead of protecting them, offered to livestream their sexual abuse in exchange for money.⠀

Ghana Rescue During Lockdown - 3 Children Free from Child Slavery

During May's lockdown, IJM and partners conducted an operation to rescue three children, two boys and one girl, who had been trafficked into the fishing industry, which is notorious for the trafficking of children to work on Ghana's Lake Volta. IJM continues its preventative, protective and restorative work to ensure children are safe and traffickers are held to account.

Trapped Garment Workers Reach out to Newspaper and 150 are Finally Rescued

Ever since India’s COVID-19 lockdown began, the world has been shaken by the stories of millions of migrant labourers stranded far from their homes and growing desperate without money, food or shelter. In many cases, these workers have been trapped at factories and worksites—as brutal business owners take advantage of the pandemic to extract more and more forced labour.

Sixty-Four Children Among Hundreds Rescued at Brick Kiln During Lockdown

Earlier this week, IJM assisted local authorities in rescuing 281 people from bonded labour at a massive brick kiln. This included 64 children of all ages who were forced to mold heavy bricks alongside their parents.

You Can Send Rescue Today.

When you give a gift today, you’ll be fighting slavery, violence, and injustice across the globe. Together, we can end slavery in our lifetime.

You can make the most impact as a Freedom Partner today.

Your generous monthly support will send rescue to vulnerable children and families at a moment’s notice, stand with them as they rebuild their lives in freedom and see their abusers in court.

Login

Donor Portal

Review your giving, tax statements and contact info via the IJM Donor Portal.

please sign in
Email Sign Up
Get updates from IJM on stories from the field, events in your area and opportunities to get involved.
sign up