IJM Bangalore: Brothers Rescued From Slavery, Trapped On A Rose Farm For Six Years

The government officials and IJM staff stand among rose bushes and beside the tiny shed where the brothers were forced to live for six years.
The government officials and IJM staff stand among rose bushes and beside the tiny shed where the brothers were forced to live for six years.

BANGALORE, INDIA – After six years in slavery, two brothers were finally set free in an IJM-assisted rescue operation. The brothers had worked at the rose farm since they were young boys. They had never been paid.

"These boys have been slaves since they were 11 and 12,” says IJM Bangalore’s director Peter Williams, who led his team to rescue these boys from slavery. “They told us how the owner of the farm would make them work 14 hours a day, feed them scanty leftovers and beat them regularly. There was no time for school, barely enough time to eat or sleep. They thought this was their future.”

Now, the boys’ future looks very different. On November 16, 2012, IJM celebrated with the two brothers as a government official declared them free from forced labor slavery by granting them release certificates. These legal documents emancipate them and entitle them to compensation from the government.

Their parents met their sons at the government office, and the family left together. The road ahead will not be easy for the 17- and 18-year-old brothers, but IJM social workers will help them find the right educational or vocational training they need to build a strong future.