Parents and Nine Children Rescued from Slavery at a Farm shield arrow-simple-alt-top arrow-simple-alt-left arrow-simple-alt-right arrow-simple-alt-bottom facebook instagram linkedin medium pinterest rss search-alt twitter video-play arrow-long-right arrow-long-left arrow-long-top arrow-long-bottom arrow-simple-right arrow-simple-left arrow-simple-bottom readio arrow-simple-top speaker-down plus minus cloud hb pin camera globe cart rotate star edit arrow-top arrow-right arrow-left arrow-bottom check search close square speaker-up speaker-mute return play pause love

Parents and Nine Children Rescued from Slavery at a Farm

Two tiny children got their first taste of freedom this week, as IJM and local law enforcement rescued their family of 11 from bonded labour slavery at a rural farm in Karnataka state.
Above: The family of 11 were forced to live in a derelict thatched home for four years.


Four years ago, a trafficker had preyed on this family’s poverty and promised them good jobs at the farm with a generous salary. Instead, the farm owner gave them only 20,000 rupees (about $290)—not as salary, but as a loan they would have to repay with their work. This predatory debt is called bonded labour slavery.
Next, the owner forced the husband and wife to work from 4:00 am to 7:00 pm, seven days a week, tending tomatoes and bananas under verbal and physical threats. Six of their nine children—now ages 4 to 17—were made to graze and milk 15 cows and 20 goats during the day.
Only the father was ever allowed to leave the farm, to buy meager food provisions for his family in a nearby village.
The parents told police that their youngest two children—aged 2 years and 10 months—were born at the farm without a doctor’s help. In fact, none of the children had ever gotten medical care, vaccines or even basic education.
"Several times I told the owner I want to put my children in school, but he abused us and said it’s not needed,” their father explained. "He used to always abuse us using vulgar words, saying we are not working well even though we worked from 4:00 am till 7:00 pm on all seven days.”
Under the slave owner’s control, they could not even visit dying relatives—even the husband’s own mother. He described, "When my wife’s brother passed away, we asked permission to go back to our village for the funeral but he did not allow us. He said ‘Let the dying die. Why should you go?’ In the last four years, we have never gone back to our village as a family…We were so helpless.”
After bringing the family to safety on June 26, government officials are conducting further interviews with the survivors and will be issuing them release certificates—which break their false debts—before taking them back to their home state of Tamil Nadu. Another set of local leaders will help them resettle and begin the process of rehabilitation.
Local officials interviewed the parents about their experience in slavery, and police helped load their few belongings to move to safety.


IJM staff will provide aftercare support for the family over the next two years.
Police are still working to apprehend the farm owner, but have lodged charges against him under India’s anti-trafficking and child labour laws.
In Indian law, human trafficking and debt bondage are serious crimes—especially since children were involved—with a minimum sentence of 14 years, with a maximum of life in prison.

International Justice Mission Canada is part of a global organization protecting the poor from violence throughout the developing world. IJM partners with local authorities to rescue victims, bring criminals to justice, restore survivors and strengthen justice systems. Together we've brought thousands of children, women and men to freedom.

You can rescue families trapped in slavery today. Join us as a Freedom Partner.

You might also be interested in…

see more

Newsletter Sign Up

Stay connected to the work! Sign up to get updates straight to your inbox.

Media Contact

We're here to answer your questions. Please fill out the form below and someone from our team will follow up with you soon.

More Information

Petra Kooman

Director of Marketing and Public Relations
pkooman@ijm.ca
519.679.5030 x.229

Make an Impact

Your skills, talents, and ideas are a force for change. From birthday parties to polar dips, your fundraising campaign can stop the violence.

Learn More

Thank you for signing up to learn more about starting a fundraiser. We will be in touch soon!

In the meantime, please take a look at our free guide: 25 Tips for the Novice Fundraiser.

Need Help?

Need more information?
We're here to help.
Contact us at events@ijm.ca