BHUBANESWAR: The Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) on Tuesday directed Labour and ESI Department as well as Collectors of 30 districts to submit detailed reports on exploitation of workers at brick kilns across the State.Hearing a petition filed by Justice KP Mohapatra, acting Chairperson of OHRC, Justice BK Mishra instructed that the matter must be inquired into and action taken reports submitted within six weeks.
The petitioner had stated that brick kiln workers and their family members, including minor children, lead a miserable life without access to proper food, dress, medicine and education. In most cases, agents engaged by brick mafia illegally hire workers from tribal districts such as Nabarangpur, Kalahandi, Balangir, Boudh, Nuapada, Bargarh and Mayurbhanj taking advantage of their impoverished condition.
Such illegal activities, the petitioner said, goes on with the knowledge of district labour office, district administration and Labour Department.
Justice Mohapatra requested appropriate action for such gross violation of the human rights of workers and their family members.The OHRC, in its order, directed that action taken reports must mention the number of brick kiln workers and family members rescued and rehabilitated by the administration. Similarly, details of prosecution against brick kiln owners, labour contractors and conduits must also be provided. The authorities have been asked to send in their reports on or before May 14.