Plea in HC to consider 16 more child labour victims for financial assistance

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New Delhi, Feb 23 (PTI) A plea has been moved in the Delhi High court to consider 16 more victims of child and bonded labour who were rescued from the national capital for grant of immediate financial assistance for their rehabilitation.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh Tuesday issued notice to the Union Ministry of Labour and the Delhi government seeking their stand on the application which has been moved in a pending petition seeking rehabilitative assistance for 88 victims of child and bonded labour.

It asked the authorities to look into the grievances raised in the application and listed the matter for hearing on March 19.

The petition and application have been moved by the father of one of the rescued children.

The petitioner, Mohd Kadir Ansari, has sought relief for the victims of child and bonded labour which included his own minor son who came to Delhi from Bihar at the age of 12 years seeking work.

The child was offered work in an establishment where he 'was subjected to severe abuse for over a period of 2 months at the hands of his trafficker/ employer who inhumanely compelled the him to work for long hours (14 hours a day) and for less than the statutory minimum wages', the petition, filed through advocates Nimisha Menon, Kriti Awasthi and Shivangi Yadav, has claimed.

Ansari has alleged failure on the part of the authorities to provide his child and other similarly placed victims with 'rehabilitative financial assistance' as applicable under the Central Sector Scheme 2016 (CS Scheme).

According to the petition, the Delhi High Court had in 2018 issued the 'Standard Operating Procedure for Identification of Bonded Labourers and Release of Immediate Financial Assistance' (SOP) which also contained specific stipulations regarding financial assistance to rescued child and bonded labourers.

Under the SOP, the victims are entitled to immediate rehabilitative financial assistance within seven days from the date of the rescue.

'However, even after a lapse of 1 year 6 months, the petitioner's child has been precluded from availing the benefit of the rehabilitative immediate financial assistance, thereby defeating the victim child's rights,' the petition has contended. PTI HMP SA