While the UNCRC explicitly protects children’s rights to be free from slavery, to a healthy development, to education and to play, child slavery and exploitation are the daily reality for millions of children in India. KidsRights is working tirelessly, together with our local partner BBA, to rescue hundreds of children a year from forced labor. This organization was founded by Nobel Peace Prize Winner 2014 Kailash Satyarthi, and it has fought against child labor for 30 years.
One of these children is Abdul. He is a 17-year-old from Kishanganj. Just like others, he was brought to Delhi to work by the village contractor. These men take advantage of the poor conditions of Indian families and promise a better future for them and their children, who will work in urban, bigger cities. Abdul’s parents were left with no options but to send their child with the village contractor.
Amidst all the stress of parting with their child, the only relief was that an acquaintance from their same village was working in a juice shop in Delhi, and he had promised to get Abdul the opportunity to be hired in the same shop. So, Abdul left his studies, his family and his village behind and went to Delhi, where he started working full time in the juice shop. He worked for almost twelve hours every day, but the pay amounted to only 2000 Indian Rupees (€25.88) per month. This money were barely enough for his own survival.
Finally, after more than three months of hard work, he has been rescued in June 2018. He first stayed in BBA’s short-term shelter home, but after the completion of legal formalities, he was fortunately reunited with his parents.
Thanks to KidsRights and BBA’s efforts, it was ensured that his Release Certificate was issued and that the Child Welfare Committee’s (CWC) order to pay his back wages of INR 23,688 (€ 306.56) by the employer was executed. He was also able to receive the immediate assistance of INR 20,000 (€ 258.83) under the Central Sector Scheme for Rehabilitation of Bonded Laborers.
Post repatriation, he has finally re-enrolled in school and in April 2019 he passed his class 10th examination with distinction. BBA has then assisted him him with college applications, between which there are prestigious Indian universities like Patna University, Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Milia Islamia.
This is a story of success, an example that shows the importance of the fight for children’s rights, in this case specifically against child labor. However, for every story of hope, there are hundreds of stories that still lack such a happy ending.
Thirty years have passed from the adoption of the UNCRC, and many are the goals achieved in this field. However, there is still much work to do, so that all children around the world can have the same rights and opportunities. Help us in this good fight.