BBA believes that child labour, forced labour and trafficking are not just social ills but crimes against humanity, which must be treated as such. The fight against child labour, bonded labour and trafficking is also a fight to uphold the criminal justice system. Prosecution is an integral part of victim assistance. Therefore, BBA ensures that each rescue is followed by the prosecution of traffickers and employers to guarantee that rescued children get access to legal care and support.
In the past three years (2010-2013), BBA has lodged 201 First Information Reports and has supported police in the arrest of 341 employers and traffickers. BBA’s action has also led to the shutdown of 173 workplaces employing children. In its claims, BBA relies on existing rules in the Indian legal system. Employers and traffickers are prosecuted mostly on the basis of Sections 23, 24 and 26 of the Juvenile Justice Act of 2000, Sections 365,367, 369, 370, 370(A), 373 and 374 of the Indian Penal Code, Sections 16 to 19 of the Bonded Labour Act and Sections 3/14 and 7/14 of the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act of 1986. BBA’s integrated approach to restoring justice for former child labourers includes not only the prosecution of employers, but also initiatives for repatriation, including fines, recovery of back wages, restitution and retribution. For example, in the last three years, Rs 5,120,000 (about 84,000 USD) have been recovered from traffickers/employers convicted of trafficking children, practicing slavery and supporting forced labour in Delhi.
If the law is properly applied in the name of the poor, it becomes the most powerful tool for restoring social justice and the strongest means for the empowerment of victims. BBA's legal intervention strategies have helped to not only bring justice to the victims but have also brought the issue of child labour to the attention of the larger judicial and legal fraternity.