Human trafficking is typically associated with the sex trade. But it is now clear that the sale of people into slavery in the fishing, food processing, domestic work and other industries is the most common form of trafficking and needs increased public attention if it is to be stopped, according to a new report on human trafficking
in the Mekong region.
World Vision International’s report ‘10 Things You Need To know About Labor Trafficking in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region’
lays out ten truths about trafficking that most people are unaware of in an effort to broaden debate about human trafficking, and just who it is that ends up enslaved and where.
Based on findings from other reports as well as case studies collected by World Vision in the course of its efforts to fight trafficking across the region, the report states that across the Asia Pacific region
there are an estimated three people trafficked for every 1,000 inhabitants while globally for every person forced into the sex trade, nine are forced to work.
The report states: “Trafficking for labor exploitation is generally not considered as severe a crime as trafficking for sexual exploitation, and there is a high level of impunity for offenders. Victims of labor trafficking are often not identified as such, and instead are detained and deported from the country where the exploitation took place. As a result, the majority of trafficked persons do not have access to assistance or justice, and the traffickers remain free to exploit others.”
Among the ten truths are the following:
• Men and boys are often imprisoned on fishing boats
• ‘Legal’ recruitment agencies are sometimes complicit in trafficking
• Some factories hold workers against their will with no pay
• Many victims of labor trafficking are exploited not in foreign countries but on their home soil
Abid Gulzar, Trafficking Program Policy Manager for the Greater Mekong Region, who helped produce the report, said: “Governments are slowly addressing the issue of trafficking for labor but let’s face it, this is the 21st century and slavery of any form should be eradicated. Many of us are for example eating fish or shrimp that was caught or processed by the victims of trafficking.”
The Ten Things report also comes with a list of recommendations about how to fight labor trafficking. These include urging the private sector to take responsibility for all labor within their supply chain with ongoing monitoring for compliance; banning the confiscation of workers’ official documents by employers; having governments target high-migration areas with vocational and skills training and safe migration information; strengthen and enforce workplace safety and protection with enhanced training for labor inspectors; regulate and monitor high-risk industries via codes of practice and heavy penalties for violators. The report also urges consumers to learn more about where the products they use or eat come and contribute to the fight against labor trafficking.
To learn more about the Ten Things, the report recommendations for action and to read the case studies of survivors download ‘The Ten Things You Need to Know About Labor Trafficking’ report.
| ||» 14-year-old Sokkong from Cambodia struggled every day working at a brick factory. As part of his job, he would lift 10 - 15 kilogram blocks of clay, far beyond his strength as a young boy.|
About World VisionWorld Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. We serve the world's poor -- regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information on their efforts, visit WorldVision.org/press or follow them on Twitter at @WorldVisionNews
| ||» Aung Htoo learned first-hand how easy it was to become a victim of trafficking after he was forced to work on a boat for a month.|