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)
In Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on June 28, 2013 at 10:48 am
“The rape of Narunisa demonstrates the vulnerability of Rohingya women to human traffickers – even when they are living in government-run shelters where they should be protected,” said Brad Adams, Asia director. “The government needs to swiftly and impartially investigate the rape case, and determine why traffickers were able to get access to Rohingya women in this shelter, and prosecute all those who aided the crime.”
According to Narunisa, human traffickers – both Rohingya and Thai – were able to gain access to the shelter in Phang Nga province soon after a group of about 70 Rohingya women and children arrived there in January. Korlimula, who was identified to Human Rights Watch as working for a Rohingya-Thai human trafficking gang, told Narunisa that he would reunite her with her husband in Malaysia for a fee of 50,000 baht (approximately US$1600).
On May 27, Korlimula helped Narunisa and her two children to escape from the shelter and took her to meet with other associates. Narunisa and her children were put on a pickup truck driven by a man, whom she later learned is a police officer at Khao Lak police station in Phang Nga province. The three of them were taken to six hideouts in the province, and in each case locked up against their will. At the final hideout on Koh Yipoon Island in Phang Nga province’s Kuraburi district, Korlimula repeatedly assaulted and raped Narunisa at knifepoint over the course of three days, from June 9 to 11. After that, Narunisa and her children were dumped on the street in Kuraburi district and the three of them made their way back to the shelter on June 18. Narunisa reported the rape case at Kuraburi district police station on June 18, and then filed a formal complaint against Korlimula on June 21.
Source: Human Rights Watch
In Forced Labor, Human Trafficking on June 5, 2013 at 1:43 pm
Teth Teth Win was arrested on May 30 by a DSI team of investigators, led by Pol Major Jatuporn Arunroektawin, head of DSI Human Trafficking Suppression Division 2.
According to investigators, Teth Teth Win and her daughter Win Tanda Aong had illegally smuggled at least 15 people from Myanmar and forced them to work at a corn factory located in Tha Ma Kha district of Kanchanaburi province.
Jatuporn said his team had arrested Teth Teth Win and rescued six women from Myanmar who had been detained and tortured while they were staying at a camp for workers located near the factory. They had never received any wages despite being forced to pay between Bt15,000 and Bt20,000 to Teth Teth Win and her daughter for entering Thailand through Mae Sot and travelling to Kanchanaburi.
Source: Nation Multimedia
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