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[Report]HRN publish a report on extremely hazardous child labour practice at coal mines in Jaintia Hills, Meghalaya, India(July 29 2011)

In Jaintia Hills in the state of Meghalaya, India, the mining industry has grown over the past thirty years, sustained by labour from neighbouring countries Nepal and Bangladesh as well as from other areas of India. Following an invitation from the Impulse NGO Network (based in Shillong, Meghalaya), Human Rights Now (HRN), a Tokyo-based international human rights NGO, sent a fact-finding mission to investigate the situation of children at the mines in Jaintia Hills from 31 May to 2 June 2010.The HRN fact-finding mission conducted three days of extensive investigation in three areas of coal mines. HRN visited actual working places, including deep underground "rat holes", and observed the working situation. It also conducted interviews with more than 50 people including workers, children, families, supervisors, managers and owners. This report includes 39 interviews out of the total number of interviews. Within these 39 interviews, 26 are children, three children each at ages 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16 years old respectively (totaling fifteen children), five 17-year-old children, and six 18-year-olds, all of whom are involved in coal mining. At the completion of the investigation, the HRN fact-finding team found that extremely hazardous and inhumane child labour practices have been widely practiced in the coal mines owned by individuals in Jaintia Hills. Significant numbers of the children are trafficked from Nepal and Bangladesh.Many of the children, including those under the age of 14, are placed in extremely dangerous working environments, with situations indeed involving slavery-like practices. At the same time, these children are exploited and usually given half the wages of an adult.This report describes the reality of labour conditions, human rights violations, exploitation, and the trafficking of children involved with this situation. It also asks both the Indian government and the international community to immediately address the situation and save the victimized children, as well as adopt comprehensive measures to end the vicious circle of child labour in coal mines in the area.

India Report.pdf