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The National Law University, Odisha (commonly known as NLU Odisha) has launched a special course on Bonded Labour. The course was introduced at the university on 30th August 2019, Friday. Bonded labour has been one of the issues of grave concern, especially for the Government of Odisha. The programme at NLU Odisha is a credit course which intends to aid students in getting a better understanding of the crime in India.
NLU Odisha is one of the best law institutions in India. Every year, thousands of students who aspire to pursue a career as a lawyer seek admission in the courses of L.L.B. (Bachelor in Law), B.A. L.L.B., B.B.A. L.L.B., and L.L.M. (Masters in Law) offered at the prestigious university through the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT). The Vice-Chancellor of NLU Odisha, Srikrishna Deva Rao, spoke about the introduction of the new course and said that NLU-O has always strived to motivate students so that they cater to the legal needs of the marginalised communities that are unmet and help them in getting access to success. Rao said that this new course will not just infuse solidarity and empathy among the students of NLU Odisha but will also give them an opportunity to understand and learn about how the law works in action.
Mr. Rao further said that despite the Abolition of Bonded Labour Act having being passed in the year 1976, the young lawyers and law students of today have the responsibility to ensure that the crime is completed uprooted and abolished. This credit course is the third special course that is being introduced this year. It aims at helping the law graduates understand the judgement of the Supreme Court on Bonded Labour, engage in various discussions about justice and rights regarding labour laws, develop significant comprehension on the role that the judiciary plays in Bonded Labour cases and the appropriate outcomes of trials. The course will go a long way in providing guidance to law graduates so that they appreciate the significance of adopting an approach that is victim-centric.
Cdr Ashok V M Kumar, the National Director of Investigations and Law Enforcement Development of the International Justice Mission said that Bonded Labour has moved from being existent as a social-economic crime to becoming purely an economic crime. Bonded Labour does not remain in the community anymore and age, caste, sex, or creed does not matter to it. A financial benefit is incurred out of the exploitation of human beings through this labour which can be translated into currency. He also said that in the last decade Bonded Labour has transited into the final stage of the organised crime which is known as Human Trafficking.
Bonded Labour is one of the evils that persist in India and must be uprooted legally. Sushant Singh, the Odisha Labour Minister, had revealed that a total of 1,28,348 migrant labourers had registered with the state government before migrating outside Odisha in search of work. However, the total number of cases that are still unregistered is much higher. This course by NLU Odisha is one significant step towards providing justice to those who are bound in the shackles of bonded labour.