Forced Labor

Malaysia Must End Abuse of Migrant Workers

This article (and the accompanying video) discusses what happens in Malaysia to migrant workers who are lured away from their countries with the promise of jobs, then put in horrid conditions and forced to work.  The workers are held in debt bondage without their passports so they cannot escape.   In Malaysia, this cheap labor is essential to the economy and laws are set up to attack the workers, instead of their captors.

Amnesty International. “Malaysia Must End Abuse of Migrant Workers.” Amnesty International. 24 March 2010. 10 July 2010.


Africa’s World of Forced Labor

There are almost 12,000 trafficked children that work in the cocoa fields of the Ivory Coast.  This article describes the forced labor of children that occurs in Africa.  The reporter follows the story of a six-year-old boy named Mark Kwadwo who was sold to an abusive fisherman in Ghana. The country’s government has taken steps in order to combat trafficking such as eliminating school fees and extending loans to mothers, yet in 2006 had not prosecuted any traffickers.  The children are often given up by poor families in exchange for a small pay, and subsequently lose any opportunity for education or even basic necessities.

Sharon LaFraniere. “Africa’s World of Forced Labor, in a 6-Year-Old’s Eyes.” New York Times. 29 October 2006. 1 August 2010.


As If I Am Not Human

This article focuses on Saudi Arabia and the cruel domestic servitude that is occurring there because of flawed laws and the kafala system.  Domestic servitude is not included in the country’s employment laws, which means workers are not entitled to limits on working hours and are forced into harsh conditions.  The country’s kafalas sponsorship system is also a problem because it says employers must grant migrant workers permission to change jobs or leave the country.  Human Rights Watch suggests that Saudi Arabia reform the country’s sponsorship system, add domestic servitude to labor laws and monitor domestic working conditions.

Human Rights Watch. “As if I am Not Human.” 7 July 2008. 22 July 2010.


The Misery of Male Slavery

In Thailand, human trafficking legislation is mainly focused on women and children.  This piece tells the tale of men who were trafficked, and were only protected by anti trafficking laws in 17 Northern provinces. This article shows how it is necessary to incorporate men into regulations that deal with trafficking.

Subhatra Bhumiprabhas. “The Misery of Male Slavery.” The Nation. 22 July 2010.

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