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Thanks to Avdi Grimm sharing on Twitter, I had the chance to read through AP's article on modern day slavery in Thailand. This slavery takes the form of human trafficking from neighbouring Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar. These people are promised better wages than they have in their home country, but are instead tricked and sold into slavery.

Tin Nyo Win and his wife were taken to the Gig Peeling Factory in July when they made the long drive from Myanmar across the border, crammed so tightly into a truck with other workers that they could barely breathe. Like many migrants, they were lured from home by a broker with promises of good-paying jobs, and came without visas or work permits.

After being sold to the Gig shed, the couple learned they would have to work off what was considered their combined worth — $830. It was an insurmountable debt.

Because they were illegal workers, the owners constantly threatened to call police to keep them in line. Even documented migrants were vulnerable because the boss held onto identification papers so they could not leave.

Under the U.S. government's definition, forced labor and debt bondage are considered slavery.

Of course this slave peeled shrimp then makes its way to markets all over the world.

The AP followed trucks from the shed over five days to major Thai exporters. One load pulled into N&N Foods, owned by one of the world's largest seafood companies, Tokyo-based Maruha Nichiro Foods. A second drove to Okeanos Food, a subsidiary of another leading global seafood supplier, Thai Union. Still more went to Kongphop Frozen Foods and The Siam Union Frozen Foods, which have customers in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia. All the exporters and parent companies that responded said they abhor human rights abuses.

Read the whole article, it's horrifying. Then, think twice before buying any shrimp made in Thailand.

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Arthur Maltson


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Personal, mostly non-technical blog of Arthur Maltson. I'll be posting random thoughts about tech, politics, science, culture, and so forth, here.

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