After much controversy, the Commonwealth Games finally opened in India last night. In addition to charges or corruption and general mismanagement in the preparations for the Games, there were also reported incidents of child and forced labor being used in various construction projects for the events. One of those who uncovered examples was Siddharth Kara, author of Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery, who has been traveling South Asia examining the problem of forced labor.
He was recently interviewed by CNN about what he saw in New Delhi as India got ready for the Commonwealth Games. Kara saw 32 cases of children aged 7-10 working to get the construction completed.
Kara commented on the conditions:
“The conditions are sub-human and that’s really the only word I can apply. They live in the dirt, they go to the toilet behind bushes and trees which is why they found human excrement in the athletes village a few days ago. The children, especially the young ones, don’t have a sense of what’s going on. They’re told to do the work and they just do the work. They don’t know that they should be in school or that they should be playing.”
Kara contacted the organizers of the Games to comment but never heard back. Below is a video of Kara’s report for CNN: