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PUCL Bulletin, September 2006

Know more for no more bonded labour


Although the system of bonded labour stands legally abolished by enactment of Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act 1976, the problem continues to persist widely in India. The official accounts for the incidence of bonded labour donít quite reveal the magnitude of the problem, independent surveys by reputed agencies place the total number of people mired in different forms of bonded labour at tens of millions. Without doubt, it is the worst form of enslavement and labour exploitation, which has its genesis in the feudal and semi-feudal structure but has transmitted from traditional to emerging new societies and economies by producing and reproducing itself to the requirement of new economy and production relations.

In the past 30 years, there has been wide range of interventions to address the issue from local, national and international agencies. Although these initiatives have helped in releasing more than 2,80,000 bonded labourers but many feel that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Most of these release cases were a sum total of isolated interventions, which could not be replicated with same affect in other areas of the country. The agencies and activists working on the issue at various levels feel the lack of sharing experiences and information as a major drawback in effectively intervening to the problem of bonded labour.

Therefore, with the view to address this growing concern, Centre for Education and Communication (CEC) in arrangement with ILO introduces its website www.bondedlabour.org with aim to provide resources exclusively on the issue of bonded labour to help all the agencies, partners, stakeholders and activists committed to ending bonded labour. It allows ready access to a range of materials on bonded labour, and on means to combat it. We hope that all its users will find this resource useful, and will wish to contribute their own materials and experiences so as to expand and improve the site as an effective tool in urgently and effectively fighting against bonded labour.

We gladly welcome all types of queries, suggestions, information and responses on the website which can be directed to the Project Officer (Bonded Labour), Centre for Education and Communication (CEC), 173 A Khirki Village, Malviya Nagar New Delhi - 110017 or call 91-11-29541858 / 29542473 or e-mail to abhay@labourfile.org.

People's Union for Civil Liberties, 81 Sahayoga Apartmrnts, Mayur Vihar I, Delhi 110091, India. Phone (91) 11 2275 0014