In April, a strike broke out at a seafood processing factory in Thailand’s southern province of Songkhla, where thousands of Burmese and Cambodian workers, living in small barracks and working in a nearby factory, process shrimp for export by a Bangkok-based company called Phatthana Seafood Co., Ltd… Some workers said they were provided inadequate toilet facilities and given insufficient bathroom breaks, obliging them at times to relieve themselves in corners of the factory. Far worse, labor organizers say, many of the migrant workers at the Songkhla facility found themselves in conditions amounting to debt bondage. Workers told organizers that many of them paid recruiters excessive placement and transport fees to get the jobs. Managers at the plant took portions of their wages to pay these debts, workers said, as well as various “fees” to the company for accommodation, utilities, and other necessities. Several workers said that before the strike they were promised 26 days of work per month, but often were only given 10 to 14 days of work, going unpaid when the factory was idle.
Some workers were receiving so little pay after deductions that they couldn’t afford sufficient food. Before the strike, they were reportedly catching minnows and snails for meals. Despite the legal requirement that workers be enrolled in Thailand’s social security system to receive health care, the company failed to sign the workers up, meaning workers had to pay out of pocket for any medical treatment for injuries or sickness.
Workers who wanted to leave found it difficult, organizers say, because their official documents, including work permits, health cards, ID cards, and passports, were reportedly confiscated and held by factory management to prevent workers from running away. New workers were told they would only get their documents back after their debts were paid off—a key criterion used in legal cases to prove human trafficking.
The conflict at the Songkhla facility escalated after management locked the workers out on April 9. Thai police fired gunshots in the air to disperse protesting workers. A few weeks later the workers reached a partial agreement with the company for modest pay increases, and received their passports back. The company agreed to provide additional toilets and pay part of the accommodation costs and debts to recruiters, but not utilities or health care. Some of the workers with smaller debts left. But the pre-existing debt conditions continued for most workers. Many today are still effectively in bondage.
Local labor organizers are skeptical that even the minor changes made are durable. “I am suspicious that they are making these changes right now only because they are being watched,” one labor researcher told us recently
The U.S. labor organization Change to Win has been raising awareness of abuses associated with factories like Phatthana, not just for the sake of workers there but also because one of the U.S. companies supplied by Phatthana is a continuing nemesis for the American labor movement: Walmart.
http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/09/17/walmarts-human-trafficking-problem

Common facilitators on which traffickers frequently rely include:
Hotels and Motels
Landlords
Labor brokers
Taxi and other driving services
Airlines, bus, and rail companies
Advertisers 
-Online websites like Craigslist.com and Backpage.com
-Phone books
-Alternative Newspapers (and some mainstream newspapers)
Banks and other financial services companies
In some cases, businesses are aware of their involvement in trafficking, and the profits they generate outweigh reservations they may have about their role. In other cases, businesses are unaware and find it difficult to know which of their customers are human traffickers.
http://www.polarisproject.org/human-trafficking/overview/the-facilitators

Common places where forced labor has been found in the United States include domestic servitude and small-scale “mom and pop” labor operations, to more large-scale operations such as farms and factories. Certain labor brokers that supply labor to multinational corporations have also been identified as an emerging type of labor traffickers. Sex trafficking includes commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC), as well as every instance where an adult is in the sex trade as the result of force, fraud, or coercion. Sex trafficking occurs within numerous venues in the broader sex industry, commonly found in street prostitution, online escort services, residential brothels, and brothels disguised as massage businesses. Under U.S. and international law, commercially sexually exploited children found in the sex trade are considered to be victims of trafficking, even if no force or coercion is present.

Victims of human trafficking in the United States include U.S. citizens or foreign nationals, adults or minors, and men or women. Foreign-born victims in the U.S. may be either documented or undocumented.

Because human trafficking is considered to be one of the fastest growing criminal industries, the U.S. government and academic researchers are currently working on an up-to-date estimate of the total number of trafficked persons in the United States annually. With 100,000 children estimated to be in the sex trade in the United States each year, it is clear that the total number of human trafficking victims in the U.S. reaches into the hundreds of thousands when estimates of both adults and minors and sex trafficking and labor trafficking are aggregated.
http://www.polarisproject.org/human-trafficking/overview
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