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Delhi govt issues SOP to rescue bonded labourers

Labourers work at the construction site of a residential complex in Noida on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, August 20, 2015. The decade-long construction boom in burgeoning cities like Noida lured millions of labourers from India's rural hinterlands in search of a better life, creating one in every three new jobs. That process is now going into reverse, undermining Prime Minister Narendra Modi's promise to create more employment for the one million Indians who join the workforce every month. Picture taken August 20, 2015.  REUTERS/Adnan Abidi  - RTX1PQD1

New Delhi, Jun 23 : The Delhi government has issued the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to all the authorities concerned for rescue and financial assistance of bonded labourers.

According to the SOP, the information received by the district magistrates or sub-divisional magistrates pertaining to bonded labourers, must be kept strictly confidential and the rescue should be done within 24 to 48 hours.

“The rescue must be done in a manner that assures all victims of their safety and dignity.

“Representatives from various departments involved, particularly the police department, must be present on the ground at the time of rescue,” it stated.

The Delhi government’s revenue department has issued the SOP which also states that the rescued victims should be separated from the accused and he or she should be taken to the DM or SDM offices.

It also stated that the authorities concerned should also provide financial assistance to the rescued victims.

An official of the labour department said that the move will ensure better coordination between different departments in rescuing the bonded labours.

“On the basis of the preliminary inquiry and information recorded, the DM/SDM must make a prime-facie finding/report as to whether the case is one of bonded labour or not and pass an order recording the same within 24 hours.

It also stated that the DM or SDM will ensure that the victims, who do not have any identification, are assisted with applying for an Aadhaar card within 48 hours of the rescue and the same are received as soon as possible.(P.T.I)

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