HYDERABAD: ‘Two million bonded labour in Sindh’
HYDERABAD, February 01 2006: Around two million peasants are languishing in private jails of influential landlords, said president of the Pakistan chapter of the Peace and Human Rights International, Advocate Mohammad Aslam Rana.
He was speaking at a news conference here on Tuesday January 31.
He said the Sindh chief minister had denied presence of bonded labour in Sindh but in reality the situation was serious and poor farmers were being subjected to forced labour.
Quoting from a newspaper, he said that even the Sindh home minister had conceded that there were two million bonded labourers in Sindh.
Mr Rana said the home minister had issued instructions to the regional and district police officers to wipe out private jails and take action against people responsible.
He announced that his organization will convene an international conference in Hyderabad on March 26 on ‘emancipation of bonded labour and their rehabilitation’.
He said the chairman of the Peace and Human Rights Trust, Mukhtar Rana; representatives of Anti-Slavery International, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Bonded Labour Liberation Front in Sweden; retired judges and lawyers would attend the conference.
Advocate Rana said many bonded labourers were recovered from Umerkot and Ghotki districts.
He paid tribute to the Supreme Court chief justice for taking suo motu action in the case of Mannu Bheel, whose entire family was being held in captivity by an influential landlord.
He urged the federal government to appoint a judicial commission for rehabilitation of freed labours.