Slaves May Be Catching the Fish You Eat: Report
15 Burmese workers beaten, forced to work for Thai crew
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted May 31, 2013 8:58 AM CDT
A report says the Thai fish industry uses slave labor.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A new report by UK activists points to slave labor in the Thai fishing industry—whose biggest buyer happens to be the US. The Environmental Justice Foundation report, published Wednesday, cites a case of slave labor in which 15 Burmese people, paid little or nothing, were allegedly beaten and forced to work 20 hours a day for Thai fishermen. Those Burmese workers, since rescued, say they saw their countrymen murdered and tortured on Thai ships. "This is not an isolated case, but indicative of the widespread acceptance and use of modern slavery in an industry that feeds a global appetite for seafood," says an EJF rep.

For the past three years, the US State Department has placed Thailand on the Tier 2 Watch List for human trafficking. That's out of three tiers, the Christian Science Monitor reports, and a move to Tier 3—as activists are requesting—would put Thailand among the world's biggest offenders. But Thailand exported $1.8 billion in fish products to the US in 2011; the countries' strong relationship makes the odds of a downgrade slim, some experts say. This month, a top Thai official pledged improvements during a meeting with John Kerry; he asked the secretary of state not to alter Thailand's status.

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Showing 3 of 45 comments
Jun 2, 2013 8:53 PM CDT
Who knows what kind of waters seafood from China,Vietnam, Laos, etc . come from. Food from China could kill if you read the list of scandals food processors there are arrested for. How many aren't caught remains a big mystery few people should risk discovering the hard way.
Jun 1, 2013 8:18 PM CDT
We refuse point blank to buy Food products from China, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Burma, with regards to Fish we only buy products caught by the USA. If even 1000,000 people refused to eat the unsanitary crap produced by the aforementioned Countries, either their Food standards would increase or they would go out of business. Even discerning Chinese consumers are now refusing to buy food products from Thailand, Burma, Vioetnam, Laos.
Jun 1, 2013 11:30 AM CDT
and "they" say fish is good for you!!!!!!!