CHENNAI, INDIA – Late last week, government officials rescued families from neighboring rice mills, where they had been forced to work as slaves – for over a decade.
IJM presented the evidence of forced labor slavery to the district government, assisting with the operation and providing immediate crisis care to the laborers. Three men and one young boy were taken to a hospital for necessary medical attention. The little boy had burned his hand at the rice mill – and the owner refused to provide treatment.
The district government interviewed the laborers and issued 12 individuals release certificates, official documentation emancipating them and ensuring they will receive rehabilitation compensation. The families were eager to return to their native village, overjoyed when they were reunited with relatives.
The families are now enrolled in IJM's two-year aftercare program, and they will receive counseling and support to ensure they find sustainable jobs and schooling opportunities for their children.