An Exploratory Study of Children Engaged in Rat-hole Mining

An Exploratory Study of Children Engaged in Rat hole Mining In a foreword to this report, Bijo Francis of Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) writes about the chilling reality of children employed in the rat-hole coal mines of Meghalaya, and seeks awakening and action from various stakeholders involved. Given below are some excerpts:

“The coal mines of Meghalaya – also infamous as rat-hole mines of Meghalaya – are a place in India where children from Bangladesh, Nepal and India work, live and die in some of the most inhuman and blood-chilling work environments.”

“Their story is that of poverty, sub-regional child trafficking, sexual exploitation, bonded labour and crime syndicates, most of it feeding into the human greed of the coal mine owners fuelled by complete apathy of the governments of at least three different countries in bringing an end to the inhuman practice.”

“It is our hope that this report will not only trigger an immediate humanitarian response from the civil society and the government of India, but also intervention by the governments of Nepal and Bangladesh, countries of origin of most of the child workers.”

“That report should therefore trigger a response from those two governments on both fronts: on the one hand, to curb the trafficking of children across their borders and prosecute the offenders and on the other hand, to take measures to ameliorate the living conditions and increase the opportunities of the children to ensure the realisation of their fundamental rights at home.”

In the foreword, Hasina Kharbhih, Founder of Impulse NGO Network, also writes:

“Impulse expects that this research report would be a base for the Government and Policy Makers, and the concerned Agencies to come forward to take further action and support in the rehabilitation, providing legal assistance to the children working in the coal mines of Jaintia Hills, Meghalaya, thereby ensuring the rights of every child.”

To read the full report created by Impulse NGO Network, for AHRC, please write to us here.

Other Research and Reports by Impulse NGO Network

Research on Girl Child Labour
Need Assessment Study - Women's Helpline Shillong
Access to Justice in North East and Jammu Kashmir
Impulse Investigation on Child Trafficking in Jaintia Hills-Coal Mines