Bond labor involves enslaving someone to work for another person or organization because they owe them money. Sometimes, they have some other problems because of which they need to serve someone. The different names for bonded labor include debt bondage and peonage. Sometimes, the person may be providing services as collateral. In many cases, they inherit a loan from their parents which they could not pay back.Why Is It Bad?
Like every other societal evil, it is designed to exploit the poor and the vulnerable. The cyclical process which starts with small debts never ends. The employer employing a person for bonded labor keeps adding a charge to it. Therefore, a couple of hundreds of dollars’ debt may spiral into several hundred or thousand dollars.
The saddest reality is that it often passes from one generation to another. There is no end to this corrupt practice. The poor person and their generations remain trapped in this never-ending vicious cycle.
The passing of the buck of this unfinished debt to the next generation promotes evils like child labor. Thus, the employers may also force children of the employees to work for them. Even at times, when the person who took the loan is no more alive, the debt remains unpaid. Thus, the employers keep exploiting the next generations without paying anything for their services. Therefore, it is not only downright evil but also against the fundamental human rights.
So What Are The Ways to Overcome This Evil Practice?
Here are some ways to help fight the evils of bonded labor.
NGOs Must Lobby Governments for Tighter Regulation of Labor Laws
Many NGOs are working for different causes. They must also work to lobby governments to strictly implement the labor laws of the countries rampant with such social evils. Similarly, governments must rely on the full force of law to get these changes implemented. Furthermore, states must also take it as a social responsibility to curb these bad social practices. Also, it is essential that the local law enforcement agencies help governments in the implementation of these stricter regulations.
Need for Implementation of Social Awareness
There is a strong need to develop social awareness among people. Many times, the society fails to do its job in properly educating people about bonded labor. It may mean mobilizing the people who can influence the opinions of the society. Thus, when the community collectively calls it as an evil act, it helps bring the change in people’s thinking that can help overcome bonded labor. It means community and all its elements must play their decisive role in fulfilling this responsibility.
Improvement in Economic Prosperity and Wellbeing
So, why would someone be willing to work for free? Well, money remains the primary motivator for anyone who is held in bonded labor. Therefore, it is essential that countries facing this problem must do something about the lives of these people. The governments must undertake serious efforts to overcome problems like unemployment, and availability of low job opportunities. It also depends on the locality facing these issues. Therefore, it is essential to consider the locally available opportunities which can help overcome this issue.
Strict Implementation of Current Labor Laws
When a country does not take the labor laws seriously, it results in exploitation of the young, vulnerable, and the weak. Capitalism dictates the terms of the business without giving any heed to the human rights violations. Developing countries lack implementation to provide justice to the poor. Therefore, it is imperative the governments of these nations ensure proper enforcement of relevant laws. No one must be considered above the law. Anyone who breaks the law must be brought to justice and booked under applicable regulations. Unless governments make an example out of the people who take advantage of evil practices like bonded labor, this problem is not going to go away.
The Role of Media
Media also needs to play a role in creating awareness about people who suffer at the hands of such exploiters. Therefore, it is necessary that the private media must play a constructive role. Today’s media is a lot more powerful. Thus, it must let the public become aware of the ills of bonded labor. It must also help the poor become aware of the rights of a citizen in their respective countries. One of the reasons why poor people get exploited is ignorance or lack of knowledge about their fundamental human rights.