Forty-four child labourers, all of them trafficked from Bihar and working in leather goods units, were rescued by authorities in north-west Delhi today.

The rescue operation was conducted in Karan Vihar by the area sub—divisional magistrate, task force for elimination of child labour, Delhi Police and the activists of child rights NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA).

A BBA official said the NGO had identified the workplaces in advance. “Forty-four children working in shoe, purse, and bag-making units were rescued. Most of them hail from Darbhanga, Champaran and Sitamarhi districts of Bihar.”

The children used to work for 16-17 hours a day in closed rooms with no proper ventilation, the official said adding, during the rescue operation, four employers were arrested and they will be prosecuted under the various child labour laws and Bonded Labour Abolition Act.

One of the boys, aged nine and suffering from chicken pox, told the rescuers he was forced to work even when he had high fever. Another said they were beaten up by the employer.

Recently, a 10-year-old child labourer was beaten to death allegedly by his employer at Bharat Nagar in northwest Delhi.

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