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Young Couple Rescued from Bondage & Death Threats at a Brick Kiln

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Young Couple Rescued from Bondage & Death Threats at a Brick Kiln

Finally freed: the young couple who had been enslaved at a brick kiln for three years were rescued thanks to IJM's partnership with Foundation for Sustainable Development (FSD) and local authorities. The young woman was 3 months pregnant. The owner had refused to let them leave and demanded they pay him $1,333 or he'd kill them with a motorbike. Terrified, the couple managed to contact relatives, who passed the case to FSD.

O

n Saturday, IJM’s casework partner Foundation for Sustainable Development (FSD) assisted authorities in rescuing a young man and woman who had been held in bonded labour slavery for the last three years.

This couple was given a cash advance of 50,000 rupees by a businessman to entice them to work at his brick kiln (about $666). He then used this advance as a debt to keep them trapped and working constantly. When they recently asked to leave, he demanded they pay him 100,000 rupees ($1,333). He also told them, “If you try to run away from here, I will have my son hit you with a motorbike and kill you.”

While verbal and physical abuse were constant, their plight became especially urgent when the young woman found out she was 3 months pregnant, and the owner refused to let her see a doctor. The young couple managed to alert their parents to the terror they faced, and their parents then reached out to FSD for action.

One FSD staff member shared, “I have seen a lot of cases, but this one is very different…They were threatened by the owners all the time. It was so heartbreaking.”

“I have seen a lot of cases, but this one is very different…They were threatened by the owners all the time. It was so heartbreaking.”

Government officials arrived at the brick kiln on August 8, interviewed the couple about their experience, and immediately brought them to safety. They gave the couple Release Certificates—which break their false debts and help prove their freedom. They also instructed police to file a report against the owner, although no arrests have been made yet.

FSD shared, “During the rescue, the victims gave their statements boldly and the Revenue District Officer (RDO) listened to them patiently…It was amazing to see the way the RDO and the officials did their job so well.”

Next, FSD will help the young couple resettle in freedom and get the rehabilitative aftercare they need to adjust—and prepare the way for their new baby to be born.

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