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05th Jan 2017

200 Children (Some As Young As 4) Freed From A Brick Kiln In India

Katie Mythen-Lynch

More than two hundred children, all aged under 14, have been freed from a brick kiln in India.

The children, some as young as just four-years-old, were rescued in the southern state of Telengana after they were spotted carrying out hard labour in hazardous conditions.

It is believed some of the children may have been trafficked and were found with adults posing as their parents.

“We are not sure if the parents are genuine and there is a possibility that some of the children were trafficked,” police commissioner Mahesh Bhagwat told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“The rescue teams spotted girls as young as seven and eight carrying bricks on their head. Some of the children were as young as four.”

Despite the fact that many people believe that slavery no longer exists, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimate that there are more than 5.5 million children in slavery worldwide.

There are also 168 million child labourers (aged between five and 17 years-old) who are not recognised as slaves, but grow up vulnerable, without access to education and in conditions that hamper their development and put their safety in jeopardy.

The latest rescue effort in Yadadiri district, 40 km from Hyderabad, was part of Operation Smile, a campaign to tackle child labour and missing children.