Be informed. Be challenged. Be inspired.

US rapped over gaps in catching slave-made imports

Thomson Reuters Foundation A drive by the United States to block illegal imports of goods made by forced labour has been hampered by a lack of skilled staff and reliable data, a government watchdog said in a report. Customs and Border Protection has in recent years suspended some investigations into imports it suspected to be […]

US blocks import of goods from five nations in rare anti-slavery crackdown

New York City, USThomson Reuters Foundation The United States has blocked the import of goods suspected to have been made with forced labor from five countries, including clothing from China and diamonds from Zimbabwe, officials said on Tuesday following a rare crackdown on slave labor abroad. The US Customs and Border Protection said it seized […]

Confined, beaten and denied leave – but not seen as a slave in India

India labour

Mumbai, IndiaThomson Reuters Foundation Tens of thousands of slavery survivors in India who were confined, abused and exploited at work are denied compensation because officials are often ignorant of the law – with police sending 60 workers they rescued home empty-handed this week. Police in the western state of Gujarat who freed 94 workers – […]

India rescues bonded workers after voting awareness campaigners raise alarm

Chennai, IndiaThomson Reuters Foundation Authorities in south India rescued dozens of bonded labourers from a farm on Friday after a tip-off from awareness campaigners that they had been banned from voting in a national election. The campaigners said they were trying to raise awareness of the importance of voting when they realised many migrant workers […]

End bondage, demand millions of Indian brick kiln workers as polls loom

Thomson Reuters Foundation Most of the 12 million workers in India’s brick kilns are victims of debt bondage, labour rights campaigners said on Friday, as they appealed to all major political parties to help crack down on the middlemen who trap them. Labour advocates met members of five major political parties this week, ahead of […]

From captivity to leaders: ex-bonded workers herald change in India

Chennai, IndiaThomson Reuters Foundation The election of three former bonded labourers to village councils on Wednesday is a game-changer for millions in India who are trafficked to work and pay off debts, experts said. One of the trailblazing winners was Kudumula Devamma, 40, who spent two decades fishing to repay loans taken by her father-in-law […]

Indian rock quarry slavery survivors welcome stiff sentence for their captors

Thomson Reuters Foundation Survivors of slavery at a rock quarry in India welcomed a stiff sentence handed to the owner and managers, and said on Monday that the rare ruling sends a strong warning to other employers. A court in Tamil Nadu state found three men guilty of using violence, intimidation and debt bondage to […]

Grain banks in India open their doors as a ‘stop gap’ to combat slavery

Thomson Reuters Foundation People who risk being enslaved after taking out loans to buy food during the monsoon, when casual work is scarce, will be able to help themselves to grain in 100 villages across northern India from this month. Tens of thousands across India are duped into working without wages to pay off debts, […]

From nightmares to dreams – rescued Indian children sketch life in slavery

Indian children sketches

Thomson Reuters Foundation Menacing dogs, violent bosses and a house left empty because its inhabitants are always working – these are the grim images of family life created by Indian children raised in bonded labour. A series of drawings by children rescued from forced labour in brick kilns, rice mills and wood cutting units has […]

Rescued from slavery, Indian workers unite to stop bonded labour

Thomson Reuters Foundation Indians rescued from slavery are coming together to free others from bonded labour in brick kilns, rice mills and factories throughout the southern state of Tamil Nadu. About 500,000 labourers in 11 industries in Tamil Nadu are trapped in debt bondage, in which people must work to repay debts to employers and […]