After her reports on modern-day slavery in India, CNN's Sara Sidner sat down with India's Labor Secretary Prabhat C. Chaturvedi. She showed him her first report, about generations paying off debt through slavery, to let him respond.
According to Sidner, the official was not surprised. He admitted that the problem of bonded labor existed in India but bristled at the word "slavery."
Below is an excerpt (and watch a longer response in the video above):
SIDNER: Did anything in that story surprise you?
CHATURVEDI: We are aware of the problem of bonded labor and also of child labor in this country ... the story that you are doing relates to bonded labor and children working in the brick kilns.
SIDNER: Would you call this modern-day slavery. This bonded labor?
CHATURVEDI: Certainly not. It is not slavery. As I said, it is a problem of poverty.
SIDNER: These people say that they feel enslaved. They have no other option, they are beaten, they are not paid, they are hungry some of them. Doesn’t that sound like slavery to you?
CHATURVEDI: I would never use the word slave.
- Read Part 1 of CNN's Sara Sidner's report from India: Generations pay off debts through slavery
– And read Part 2: Fear accompanies road to freedom: 'My father is dead. So I am working'
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