Tag Archives: modern slavery

Kitty Food Produced By Slaves

Slavery in the SE Asian FIshing Industry is common. In this case a well known Company, Nestle decided to audit it’s supply chain to determine if any of the fish caught by slaves was entering the chain and being sold by the company. This is one of the few proactive moves by a Food Company to root out unscrupulous suppliers.

Nestlé​ admits slavery and coercion used in catching its seafood

Impoverished migrant workers in Thailand are sold or lured by false promises and forced to catch and process fish that ends up in global food giant Nestlé SA’s supply chains.

The unusual disclosure comes from Geneva-based Nestlé​ SA itself, which in an act of self-policing planned to announce the conclusions of its yearlong internal investigation on Monday. The study found virtually all U.S. and European companies buying seafood from Thailand are exposed to the same risks of abuse in their supply chains.

Nestlé​ SA, among the biggest food companies in the world, launched the investigation in December 2014, after reports from news outlets and nongovernmental organizations tied brutal and largely unregulated working conditions to their shrimp, prawns and Purina brand pet foods. Its findings echo those of The Associated Press in reports this year on slavery in the seafood industry that have resulted in the rescue of more than 2,000 fishermen.

Labourers from poor countries

The labourers come from Thailand’s much poorer neighbours Myanmar and Cambodia. Brokers illegally charge them fees to get jobs, trapping them into working on fishing vessels and at ports, mills and seafood farms in Thailand to pay back more money than they can ever earn.

“Sometimes, the net is too heavy and workers get pulled into the water and just disappear. When someone dies, he gets thrown into the water,” one Burmese worker told the non-profit organization Veritécommissioned by Nestle.

“I have been working on this boat for 10 years. I have no savings. I am barely surviving,” said another. “Life is very difficult here.”

Nestlé​ said it would post the reports online — as well as a detailed yearlong solution strategy throughout 2016 — as part of ongoing efforts to protect workers. It has promised to impose new requirements on all potential suppliers and train boat owners and captains about human rights, possibly with a demonstration vessel and rewards for altering their practices. It also plans to bring in outside auditors and assign a high-level Nestle manager to make sure change is underway.

Thai and Burmese Workers Held in Cages

Nestlé​ pledges change

“As we’ve said consistently, forced labour and human rights abuses have no place in our supply chain,” Magdi Batato, Nestlé’s executive vice-president in charge of operations, said in a written statement. “Nestlé believes that by working with suppliers we can make a positive difference to the sourcing of ingredients.”

Nestlé​ is not a major purchaser of seafood in Southeast Asia but does some business in Thailand, primarily for its Purina brand Fancy Feast cat food.

For its study, Verité interviewed more than 100 people, including about 80 workers from Myanmar and Cambodia, as well as boat owners, shrimp farm owners, site supervisors and representatives of Nestlé​’s suppliers. They visited fish ports and fishmeal packing plants, shrimp farms and docked fishing boats, all in Thailand.

Boat captains and managers, along with workers, confirmed violence and danger in the Thai seafood sector, a booming industry which exports $7 billion of products a year, although managers said workers sometimes got hurt because they were drunk and fighting.

Boat captains rarely checked ages of workers, and Verité found underage workers forced to fish. Workers said they labour without rest, their food and water are minimal, outside contact is cut off, and they are given fake identities to hide that they are working illegally.

Nestle found that some of the slave product wound up in their cat food

Generally, the workers studied by Verité were catching and processing fish into fishmeal fed to shrimp and prawns. But the Amherst, Massachusetts-based group said many of the problems they observed are systemic and not unique to Nestlé​; migrant workers throughout Thailand’s seafood sector are vulnerable to abuses as they are recruited, hired and employed, said Verite.

Monday’s disclosure is rare. While multinational companies in industries from garments to electronics say they investigate allegations of abuse in their supply chains, they rarely share negative findings….Read the rest here

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Posted by on November 24, 2015 in Uncategorized, International Terrorism


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Slavery, Today… In Washington, DC

If you belive slavery ended with the Emancipation Proclamation and 13th Amendment in the United States…

You are wrong.

Slavery exists today in the United States… Right in the shadow of the Capital Dome.

Foreign Diplomats are protected from prosecution, under Diplomatic Immunity protocols. Occasionally, this has resulted in severe abuses of American laws.

Embassy Row is Located on Massachusetts Avenue In DC, and is the location of over a dozen foreign Embassies located either directly on Mass Ave or the adjacent side streets (above).

Trafficking Report: No Mention of Diplomats in D.C. with Slaves?

In Washington on Monday morning, June 14, Hillary Clinton unveiled the State Department’s 10th annualreport on modern-day slavery, which evaluates the efforts of every nation to combat the crime. For the first time, State ranked the antislavery efforts of the U.S. alongside those of 174 other countries. The U.S. rated itself as being in full compliance with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA). But the report appears to have ignored a new congressional mandate to identify specific cases of countries whose diplomats allegedly harbored slaves within a few miles of Clinton’s remarks – even though it indicates that such cases exist.

The congressional mandate was prompted in part by the abuses of a Tanzanian diplomat named Alan Mzengi, who was minister of consular affairs at his country’s embassy in Washington. In a January 2008 ruling, a U.S. district court judge found that Mzengi and his wife forced a 20-year-old woman named Zipora Mazengo into domestic slavery in their six-bedroom Bethesda, Md., home. In her April 2007 lawsuit against the couple, Mazengo, by then 27, said that as soon as she arrived from Tanzania in June 2000, the diplomat confiscated her passport and her employment contract. For the next four years, Mazengo said, the Mzengis forced her to perform domestic work 112 hours per week for no pay. At night she shared a room with the Mzengis’ infant, one of three children under her responsibility. (See a summary of the 2009 Trafficking in Persons Report.)

She claimed that the diplomat taunted her, his wife beat her, and both forbade her from leaving the home unaccompanied – even when her sister was dying in Tanzania. Mazengo’s ingrown toenails festered to the point where she could no longer wear shoes, yet the Mzengis denied her medical treatment for two years and forced her to shovel snow barefoot. When they finally allowed her emergency surgery, they ignored her doctor’s orders and put her back to work the same day. Finally, in August 2004, Mazengo escaped with help from a customer of the Mzengis’ side business, a catering service. (See South Africa’s struggle to address a new slave trade.)

Mzengi’s abuses outraged the late Congressman Tom Lantos, a California Democrat who himself was a survivor of forced labor as a young man. In 2007 he demanded that the Tanzanian diplomat “be kicked out of the country” by the State Department. Shortly thereafter, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) faulted State’s insufficient response to some 42 domestic workers who between 2000 and 2008 had accused foreign diplomats of abuse on U.S. soil. The number of unknown cases, the GAO found, was likely much higher. The 1961 Vienna Convention shields diplomats and their families from many types of prosecution by their host countries, and some diplomats have used that status to intimidate their servants into silence about abuses. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on June 15, 2010 in News


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Ending Modern Slavery – Not Only In the Rest of the World

This video discusses the existence of, and the methodology to end modern slavery as well as the economics.

Estimates vary on the number of people being held in slavery in the Untied States.

Modern Slavery

In textbooks across the country, students are still taught that slavery in the US ended with the adoption of the 13th Amendment in 1865.

But the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) knows better, and its Modern-Day Slavery Museum is traveling throughout Florida to drive that point home–that slavery persists in the agriculture fields of the state right up through this very day.

The Village Voice recently described the significance of the museum this way: “Though it’s unlikely to compete for crowds with Disneyworld, the Modern-Day Slavery Museum may be Florida’s most important new attraction.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on March 30, 2010 in American Genocide, American Greed


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