30 May 2017
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas




  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia


  • » 12/30/2014, 00.00

    INDIA

    Let us listen to Francis against slave labour, scourge of India

    Lenin Raghuvanshi

    The secretary general of the People's Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) analyses the problem of human trafficking. Out of 30 million victims of bonded labour or slavery in the world, nearly half are in India.

    Varanasi (AsiaNews) - Poverty, the caste system, autocratic attitude, divisions related to religious and patriarchal mentality are the leading causes of slave labour in India.

    Reflecting on the pope's message for the 48th World Day of Peace, Dalit activist and secretary general of the People's Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) Lenin Raghuvanshi looks at the situation.

    Let us free the captives, fight the traffickers and unite to end the global scourge of modern slavery.

    We, from the People's Vigilance Committee for Human Rights (PVCHR) and Justice Ventures International (JVC), join Pope Francis' in his message 'Slaves no more, but brothers and sisters' to mark the 48th World Day of Peace, which will be celebrated on 1 January 2015.

    Justice Ventures International (JVI) is a human rights organisation that works closely with government and civil society organisations to address issues related to bonded labour and human trafficking.

    In the past two and half years, the organisation has been successful in liberating 243 bonded labourers through advocacy with different levels of government, i.e. district, state and national administrations.

    Since 1996, about 3,500 bonded labourers have been set free from the organised bonded labour system.

    Some 30 million people are enslaved or bonded labour worldwide, trafficked into brothels, forced into manual labour, victims of debts bondage or even born into servitude.

    Almost half of the 30 million are in India, where slavery ranges from bonded labour in quarries and kilns to commercial sex exploitation.

    In India's Punjab state, hundreds of thousands of men, women and children are forced to work as bonded labourers in quarries and brick kilns where they receive little or no pay in return for a loan typically used for survival, including medical costs.

    Bonded labour exists in our society today for several reasons, such as economic differences, the caste system, autocratic attitudes, communal mind-set and patriarchal ideas. Dalits (the lowest caste, once known as 'untouchables') are the most affected. For women and children, the situation is worse.

    Bonded labour is the most widely used method of enslaving people around the world. A person becomes a bonded labourer when their labour is demanded as a means of repayment for a loan. The person is then tricked or trapped into working for very little or no pay, often for seven days a week. The value of their work becomes invariably greater than the original sum of money borrowed. Often, the debts are passed on to next generations.

    Bonded labourers are forced to work to repay debts their employers say they owe, and they are not allowed to work for anyone else. Various forms of force are used to make sure they stay. In many cases, they are kept under surveillance, sometimes under lock and key. Poverty and the threats of violence (including their families) force many bonded labourers to stay with their masters.

    Debts often play an important element in human trafficking. People who are offered a 'job' abroad often have to borrow big sums of money to pay the traffickers to cover the costs of their journey and a fee for finding a 'job', often borrowing money against their family house or business. When, at the destination, it turns out that the promised job does not exist, they cannot leave until their debt is paid off.

    Bonded labour exists because of the persistence of poverty and the existence of people who are prepared to exploit the desperation of others. The need for cash for daily survival forces people to sell their labour in exchange for a lump sum of money or a loan.

    Other victims are captured or kidnapped before they are sold or kept for exploitation, whether through 'marriage,' unpaid labour on fishing boats, or as domestic workers.

    Others are tricked or lured into situations from which they cannot escape, with false promise of a good job or an education.

    Although bonded labour is illegal, governments are rarely willing to enforce the law or to ensure that those who profit from it are punished.

    Widespread discrimination against some social groups means they have limited access to justice, education and ways to get themselves out of poverty, which is one of the main reasons for getting into debt.

    Bonded labour and slavery exist despite being explicitly outlawed under the 1956 'United Nations Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institution and Practices Similar to Slavery'.

    Forced labour affects millions of men, women and children around the world. Often it concerns under regulated sectors, like agriculture and fishing, domestic work, construction, mining and manufacturing, prostitution and sexual exploitation.

    (Nirmala Carvalho contributed to this article)

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version










    See also

    11/06/2008 INDIA
    Education and learning against child exploitation, says Lenin Raghuvanshi
    On World Day against Child Labour, the Indian activist calls for better schooling for everyone as the only solution to the problem. Some 55 million children live in slave-like conditions, especially among the lowest castes of society.

    08/03/2017 18:10:00 PAKISTAN
    Former worker under house arrest in Lahore for asking fair wage

    Muhammad Iqbal is suing his former employer who exploited him for little money. In Pakistan, 2.3 million people work in slave-like conditions. It is common practice to pay off parents’ debt with child labour. About 65 per cent of bonded labourers are Christian.



    24/02/2017 13:56:00 INDIA
    Mumbai fishermen furious over plans for worlds tallest Shivaji statue

    The equestrian statue of the god warrior will measure 190 meters; its construction will cost almost 510 million euro. It  is expected to be completed in 2021. It will attract 10 thousand visitors a day. The fishing community complains that the money could be spent on improving health, education and infrastructure. Activist: "The fascist forces use the god's statue as a symbol of Hindutva".

     



    01/01/2015 VATICAN
    For pope, Church and Mary go together; no one can belong to Christ outside the Church
    On World Day of Peace, Pope Francis strongly emphasised the link between Christ, Mary and the "Holy Mother Church as hierarchy." He called on the assembly to shout three times "Holy Mother of God!" Without the Church, the relationship with the living Christ, faith - even the most mystical - is reduced to an "idea, a moral teaching, a feeling [. . .] at the mercy of our imagination, our interpretations, [and] our moods." The Church exists to "spread to all peoples God's blessing made flesh in Jesus Christ." The pope issued a call to arms against "modern forms of enslavement. From every people, culture and religion, let us join our forces."

    13/01/2011 INDIA
    Indian activist: Freedom of religion, foundation of human life and democracy
    Lenin Raghuvanshi comments on the Pope's address to the diplomatic corps to AsiaNews. Life and human dignity are related to religious freedom, the fundamental value of any society that calls itself democratic. If it is denied, the state is pushed towards fascism.



    Editor's choices

    CHINA-VATICAN
    The 10th anniversary of the Letter from Benedict XVI to the Church in China. The weakness of some bishops

    Fr Peter

    The Letter expresses "the love of the Holy Father for our Church". The "tragedy" for the Church in China: bishops who become "state officials", "do not listen to the Letter" and are afraid of "giving their life to the flock". But there are "bishops and priests [who] safeguard the true faith of the Catholic Church." Profound thanks to the universal Church.


    VATICAN – CHINA
    AsiaNews Symposium: gray pragmatism must be dissipated, says Mgr Savio Hon



    Gray pragmatism is rooted in Deng Xia Ping’s maxim ‘It doesn't matter whether a cat is white or black, as long as it catches mice’. Today this means it is impossible to distinguish white from black, what is true from what is false. Heroes of the faith are thus challenged by wolves in sheep’s clothing.


    AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!

    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.
     

    SUBSCRIBE NOW

    News feed

    Canale RSScanale RSS 

    Add to Google









     

    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®