New Delhi – Indian police rescued hundreds of child slaves as young as six during days of raids on workshops in the central city of Hyderabad, a senior officer said on Friday.
Police discovered 120 children, some of them sick, underweight and traumatised, during the most recent raids on bangle-making and other workshops, as part of a city-wide crackdown on child slavery, the officer said.
“They have chronic skin diseases and were underfed. They are in trauma and visibly shaken,” said a police spokesperson.
“They were kept in dingy rooms with no ventilation and exposure to harmful gases,” he said.
“The campaign against bonded labour and trafficking will continue,” he added.
The children complained of being forced to work 16 hours a day without breaks and were threatened with violence and no food if they disobeyed orders.
Many of the children were transported from the impoverished northern state of Bihar last year after their parents sold them to traffickers for between $80 and $160, according to rescuers.