17 child labourers rescued from Malpe port2 min read
MALPE: In a joint operation conducted by the officials of Udupi District Child Protection Unit (DCPU), Women and Child Development Department, Childline, Malpe police station and Nagarika Seva trust, 17 girl child labourers aged between 13 and 18 years were rescued from Malpe port on October 29 at around 5:00 am.
The rescued children were working as labourers to carry fish from the auction area to the vehicles of the buyers at the port. The parents of the child labourers are all migrant workers who work in the harbour, fisheries, cashew factories, and construction sites in and around Malpe. Their children have been working in the port along with them since schools are closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“During the joint operation, many escaped because of the huge crowd in the port. We could rescue only 17. Further rescue operations will be conducted within the next 15 or 20 days for the deliverance of other children as well,” said Prabhakar Achar, legal-cum-probation officer, Udupi DCPU.
The children have been produced before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), and their details have been documented and verified. The officer assured that the rescued children will be observed and rehabilitated. He stated that education will be ensured to all of them when schools reopen.
According to the Malpe police, child labour has been a consistent problem in and around Malpe port. Several complaints have been received in this regard with more than 200 children still working in the Malpe fisheries harbour. They are made to work along with their parents in an illicit capacity, and are assigned as guest workers to carry, load and unload fish at the port. Prabhakar Achar also remarked that putting an end to child labour in Malpe has been difficult because children keep going there for work despite the frequent raids conducted.
Featured Image Courtesy: TMJ Archives/Ayush Sinha
Edited by: Mridula Kumar