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District anti-human trafficking and anti-bonded labour implementation committee meeting held

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The Hari Welfare Association (HWA) appreciates Deputy Commissioner Benazirabad for conducting the 1st meeting of the district anti-human trafficking and anti-bonded labour and implementation committee to review the conditions of bonded labour, implementation of the Sindh Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act of 2015 and the role of District Vigilance Committee (DVC).

President HWA, Akram Ali Khaskheli, said that the HWA has also attended the meeting as its member and briefed the participants about the state of bonded labour in the province, especially in the Benazirabad district.

He said that Benazirabad was the first district in the province to conduct such a meeting to start with the implementation to the SBLSAA and put in place the role of DVC.

He said that in 2019, 78 bonded labourers, including children and women, were released from the custody of landlords.

However, in 2020, no case was reported due to the media’s lack of interest and bonded families’ access to reach the concerned authorities.

Akram said that the district had promised to allocate funds for the functions of the DVCs in the district and also ensured its help for conducting surprise monitoring visits of agriculture sites, brick kilns and cotton and chilies picking sites.

He regretted that for a long time, due to the absence of labour inspector in the district and region, the labour inspection of the agriculture areas -as per the Sindh Industrial Relations Act of 2013- have not been conducted.

The president also claimed that peasants and rural workers were living and working in indecent conditions without basic health, education and social security.

He added that if the district government continued to review the performance of the DVC, it would be exemplary for other districts in Pakistan.

He also added that the HWA had written many letters to Deputy Commissioners across the province for notifying and activating the DVCs under the SBLSAA.

But, they never paid attention to the matter that badly harms millions of peasants and rural workers and causes indecent working conditions.

Akram hoped that the Committee in Benazirabad would play a positive role to protect peasants and workers from debt bondage.

The meeting was also attended by four talukas assistant commissioners including Abass Ali Dayo of Taluka Daur, Piaro Khan Jamali (DSP), Sabir Qureshi (Social welfare department, additional director), Muslim Farooq Child Protection Unit SBA, Asif-ul Bashar of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and others.

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