Surprise raid unearths child labour at Perumbavoor plywood units

Agents bring in children from Odisha and Jharkhand | Most of them have fake ID proofs

Published: 22nd July 2022 07:10 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd July 2022 07:10 AM   |  A+A-

child labour

( Express Illustrations)

By Express News Service

KOCHI: A surprise  raid by the state labour department recently has exposed the dark underbelly of recruitment of children from north Indian states as labourers in the plywood manufacturing units at Perumbavoor. Nearly eight children under the age of 16 were identified and rescued from four companies functioning at Rayamangalam, Pulluvazy and Keezhillam and a case was registered against the units’ owners.

Labour officers said there are agents who specifically bring in children from Orissa and Jharkhand for employing them at the plywood units.”Most of them are provided with fake identity cards for age proof,” said an officer.Assistant Labour Officer (Perumbavoor) K B Jayaprakash said the rescued children do not even have proper ID cards.

“We are waiting for the medical report confirming their age. Police have launched a detailed probe into the incident,” he said. A senior police officer said some of the migrant labourers, who have been at Perumbavoor for the past several years, act as agents for the rackets to bring children from their native places. “They convince the parents of children belonging to poor families in the remote villages of Orissa and Jharkhand by promising them a bright future,” the officer said.

Though there have been incidents of child labour in Kerala, a latest report submitted by Union Minister of Labour and Employment Chandra Prakash Joshi in Parliament on July 18 showed not a single child labourer was rescued and rehabilitated under National Child Labour Project Scheme (NCLP) in Kerala in the last five years.

Sawmill Owners and Plywood Manufacturers Association president M M Mujeeb Rahman said there are over 1,000 plywood manufacturing units in Perumbavoor and majority of them are adhering to labour rules. “Each unit is employing 100-200 workers. We have strictly warned the association members against engaging minors as workers in the units. They employ workers only after checking their ID proofs,” he said.

India Matters


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp