New Delhi, Apr 4 (PTI) In a bid to identify and rehabilitate bonded labourers, the NHRC will hold a workshop to sensitise senior officials and those working in brick kilns and other related industries about debt bondage.

The workshop will be held in Chandigarh tomorrow in collaboration with the government of Punjab , the National Human Rights Commission said in a statement today.

The day-long regional workshop on the ‘Elimination of the Bonded Labour System’, to be held at the Chandigarh Judicial Academy, will seek to spread awareness on the matter among district magistrates, sub-divisional magistrates, state labour officers and members of vigilance committees.

The workshop also hopes to sensitise people working in brick kilns, stone crushing and other related industries on the process of identification, release and rehabilitation of bonded labourers, under the provisions of the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976, and other legislations, it said.

The NHRC was asked by the Supreme Court in 1997 to be a part of the monitoring of the implementation of the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976. Since then, the rights body has been overseeing the implementation of the Act in different parts of the country, it said.

“Therefore, the commission, in its endeavour to raise concerns on the continuance of bonded labour, has been organising workshops to sensitise the official machinery to work for its abolition in different parts of the country. It has organised 45 workshops on the elimination of bonded labour so far,” the rights panel said.

Bonded labour is a form of forced labour in which people, including children, work without payment mostly to pay off debts. Brick kilns and agriculture are among the sectors where bonded labour still exists.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.