Human Traffic Watch

Archive for the ‘Debt Bondage among Migrant Workers’ Category

Special Report: Thailand secretly supplies Myanmar refugees to trafficking rings

In Bonded Labor, Debt Bondage among Migrant Workers, Forced Labor, Human Trafficking on December 6, 2013 at 10:19 am
Ethnic Rohingya refugees from Myanmar wave as they are transported by a wooden boat to a temporary shelter in Krueng Raya in Aceh Besar, in this file picture taken April 8, 2013.  CREDIT: REUTERS/JUNAIDI HANAFIAH/FILES

Ethnic Rohingya refugees from Myanmar wave as they are transported by a wooden boat to a temporary shelter in Krueng Raya in Aceh Besar, in this file picture taken April 8, 2013.
CREDIT: REUTERS/JUNAIDI HANAFIAH/FILES

One afternoon in October, in the watery no-man’s land between Thailand and Myanmar, Muhammad Ismail vanished.

Thai immigration officials said he was being deported toMyanmar. In fact, they sold Ismail, 23, and hundreds of other Rohingya Muslims to human traffickers, who then spirited them into brutal jungle camps.

As thousands of Rohingya flee Myanmar to escape religious persecution, a Reuters investigation in three countries has uncovered a clandestine policy to remove Rohingya refugees from Thailand’s immigration detention centers and deliver them to human traffickers waiting at sea.

The Rohingya are then transported across southern Thailand and held hostage in a series of camps hidden near the border with Malaysia until relatives pay thousands of dollars to release them. Reporters located three such camps – two based on the testimony of Rohingya held there, and a third by trekking to the site, heavily guarded, near a village called Baan Klong Tor.

Thousands of Rohingya have passed through this tropical gulag. An untold number have died there. Some have been murdered by camp guards or have perished from dehydration or disease, survivors said in interviews.

Source: Reuters

Made in a Free World: Who Made My –?

In Awareness, Child Labor, Debt Bondage among Migrant Workers, Forced Labor, Human Trafficking on December 3, 2013 at 2:55 pm

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Source: Made in a Free World

 

Thailand ignoring slaves at sea, says EJF report on Burmese migrants

In Awareness, Bonded Labor, Debt Bondage among Migrant Workers, Forced Labor, Human Trafficking on July 3, 2013 at 9:21 am

Thailand is facing fresh allegations of using slave labour in its fishing industry with the launch of a new investigation into the sale, abuse and exploitation of migrant workers on Thai fishing ships.

The Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF), an environmental and human rights NGO, highlights the case of 15 Burmese men who had been rescued from boats in its report Sold to the Sea: human trafficking in Thailand’s fishing industry (pdf). All of the men claim to have been deceived by labour brokers and forced to work up to 20 hours a day for months at a time with little or no pay on shrimping boats in Kantang, a city in the south of Thailand.

The men had been subjected to bonded labour, forced detention, and abuse and beatings by senior crew while working on ships operating in Thai waters, according to EJF.

Two of the men reported seeing fellow migrant workers tortured and executed for trying to escape, and witnessing the murder of at least five other men. Another man reported multiple murders and bodies being thrown out to sea with the crew forced to watch.

Source: The Guardian (video available at the link)

7-Eleven Shops Raided By Homeland Security In Human Smuggling Probe

In Debt Bondage among Migrant Workers, Forced Labor, Human Trafficking on June 28, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Agents from the Department of Homeland Security raided as many as 15 7-Eleven shops in New York and Virginia early Monday morning, according to multiple reports.

Nine store owners and managers have been arrested on charges of harboring and hiring undocumented immigrants, The New York Times reports. The store owners also stand accused of wire fraud and using fake Social Security numbers to pay their workers. An additional 40 7-Eleven franchises are being investigated in some form, the NYT reports.

Federal authorities said that the raids are a part of an investigation into human smuggling, identity theft and money laundering, according to the AP. The respective store owners allegedly helped smuggle the workers into the U.S. from Pakistan.

A majority of the simultaneous raids happened in Suffolk County, Long Island, according to PIX 11 News. The owners of the raided stores will be charged with harboring undocumented immigrants and not paying the minimum wage to their employees.

Source: Huffington Post

Fishing Company Owner Awaiting Sentence for Trafficking

In Bonded Labor, Debt Bondage among Migrant Workers, Forced Labor, Human Trafficking on June 20, 2013 at 9:41 am

The owner of a major fishing company is now in jail and awaiting sentencing for alleged human trafficking, in a case that highlights the major dangers faced by unwitting workers forced to labor in international waters.

Lin Yu Shin, the owner of the Giant Ocean International Fishery, is accused of trafficking hundreds of Cambodians and sending them to work in slave-like conditions on fishing vessels around the world. Authorities say her case underscores the need for better education about lawful migration and the dangers of illegal work abroad.

Lin was arrested in Siem Reap province in May and is currently in Prey Sar prison awaiting sentencing. The 53-year-old woman is accused of trafficking mostly male workers from rural communities into the international fishing industry.

Source: VOA

Nanny tells human trafficking trial she was forced to work 16-hour days

In Debt Bondage among Migrant Workers, Forced Labor, Human Trafficking, Involuntary Domestic Servitude on June 14, 2013 at 4:12 pm

Sarmiento said the couple told her that her working conditions would be the same as in Hong Kong, where she had two days off a week and regular hours, and that she would become a permanent resident in Canada after two years.

Sarmiento said that unlike in Canada, she was also allowed to socialize with other people, had her own cell phone to make frequent calls to the Philippines and took the children under her care out of the home on her own.

But all that changed when she arrived in Canada, where she was forced to work 16-hour days, seven days a week and also clean the house.

“When they see that the (other) nannies are talking to me, Mr. Orr would approach me and he would tell me there’s no need for you to talk to the nannies,” she said, describing her past experiences visiting a local community centre.

 

 

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Nanny+tells+human+trafficking+trial+forced+work+16hour/8483331/story.html#ixzz2VVpBP1fl

Forced labour on Thai fishing boats

In Bonded Labor, Debt Bondage among Migrant Workers, Forced Labor, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on June 11, 2013 at 8:30 am


A new report by the London-based Environmental Justice Foundation estimates 27 million people are victims of human trafficking around the world. Many are sold into sex slavery. But in Thailand, men are being trafficked to work in the fishing industry. They are forced to labour for up to 20 hours a day with little or no pay. The UN has found that nearly 60 percent have witnessed the murder of a fellow worker. Al Jazeera’s Wayne Hay reports from Thailand.

More Than 500 Indians Abused by Human Trafficking, Lawyer Says

In Bonded Labor, Debt Bondage among Migrant Workers, Forced Labor, Human Trafficking on June 2, 2013 at 3:28 pm

In October 2006, Signal allegedly started bringing in more than 500 Indian guest workers this way, employing them as pipe fitters, welders and ship fitters.

The men had to eat in company cafeterias and pay more than $1,000 a month to live in company man camps – trailers with beds stacked inside them, and one or two bathrooms to be shared between 20 to 24 men. The camps were fenced and segregated from other Signal employees, and the men were told that the money for the camps would be taken out of their pay whether they chose to live there or not, Landers said.

If workers complained they were told their H-2B visas would not be renewed by the company. That pretty much tied their hands because Signal was the company that got the H-2B visas. An H-2B visa keeps the worker tethered to the company that procures the visa so finding another visa would be a challenge, to say the least.

Source: Houston Press

Human Trafficking Report Roils Thai Fishing Industry

In Bonded Labor, Debt Bondage among Migrant Workers, Forced Labor, Human Trafficking on June 2, 2013 at 9:36 am

Thailand is doing little to prevent the human trafficking of workers coming from other countries, and many of these indentured servants are finding their way to the fishing industry, where they are forced to work on vessels engaged in illegal, or pirate, fishing, a new report says.

The trafficked workers are subject to long hours, little or no pay and physical and mental abuse up to and including murder, with 59% of Thai fishing workers who were surveyed by the United Nations in 2009 saying they had seen a fellow worker murdered, according to the Environmental Justice Foundation report, “Sold to the Sea–Human Trafficking in Thailand’s Fishing Industry”, released Wednesday.

Because of Thailand’s tight labor market, many people coming to the country for work wind up in fisheries, where they are subject to horrific working conditions, the report said. Many of these workers end up on illegal fishing vessels, and a recent report from the environmental group Oceana found up to 20% of the world’s fish are caught illegally.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Abuse And Human Trafficking Prevalent Among Central American Migrants Crossing The Mexico-U.S. Border

In Debt Bondage among Migrant Workers, Forced Labor, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Involuntary Domestic Servitude, Sex Trafficking on May 30, 2013 at 2:25 pm

immigrants

More than half of all Central American immigrants who cross the Mexican northeast in search of a better life in the United States are victims of abuse and human trafficking, said Diana Evelyn Mata Monreal who heads the Welfare and Humanitarian Aid Foundation.

Cases of sexual abuse and exploitation are often reported, aside from other instances where individuals crossing the border are forced to work as part of drug trafficking networks.

“There are no definite statistics, but in some form or other more than 50 percent of migrants have been victimized by trafficking or liberty deprivation. They are not allowed to communicate with their families, they are lied to and they are made unreal promises in order to trick them into a life of slavery,” she said.

Source: Latino Post

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