The month of January the Relentless Facebook page has been exploring the aspects of trafficking for labor purposes – that is to make a distinction from being trafficked primarily for sexual exploitation. It must be stated that MANY – men and women – who are trafficked for work are also sexually exploited. *
Here are the highlights:
Much of the attention this month has gone towards increasing awareness about the dark side of the Thai fishing industry. This is mainly because it is where Relentless is having the most impact with a new partnership with Labor Rights Promotion Network (LPN) and Multi-stakeholder Initiative for Accountable Supply Chain of Thai Fisheries (MAST).
While many multinational food companies who import seafood from SE Asia have oversight bodies such as the Global Aquaculture Alliance to help guarantee that the seafood is produced according to international labor and environmental standards, their reach extends only as far as the main processing centers and doesn’t have any idea of what is happening out at sea or pre-processing stages. This is where LPN and MAST come in. This means that while your local Trader Joe’s says that according to the GAA their fish is not tainted by slavery or poor environmental practices, they are right as far as they know, but they need to expand their vision. Thailand’s $7 billion seafood export industry has a long way to go. In case you missed it, here is a 14 minute video that outlines the problems of Thailand’s slave boats.
Refugees and Asylum Seekers
Human trafficking is a booming business due to the humanitarian crises in the Middle East and North Africa causing the most vulnerable of people to fall prey to promises of work and safety.
While much of the world can more easily see the hundreds of thousands of people pouring into Europe we cannot overlook the oppression suffered by the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar escaping on boats only to be picked up as slaves.
Construction, Domestic Service
I hope that you will go back to the Relentless Facebook page to see what you missed and to get more informed about slavery around the world. If you haven’t been following, please like the page and set your notifications! In February we’ll be highlighting another facet of human trafficking: pornography.
*Pocock NS, Kiss L, Oram S, Zimmerman C (2016) Labour Trafficking among Men and Boys in the Greater Mekong Subregion: Exploitation, Violence, Occupational Health Risks and Injuries. PLoS ONE 11(12): e0168500. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0168500