News / Economy

    Governments, NGOs, Work to End Labor Trafficking

    Governments, NGOs, Work to End Labor Traffickingi
    X
    December 05, 2013 1:41 AM
    The International Labor Organization says more than 20 million people worldwide are subject to forced labor, working on farms, in factories, or as domestic helpers. Mike O'Sullivan reports that those who are fighting human trafficking say it's a problem in both the developing world and industrial countries, including the United States.
    The International Labor Organization says more than 20 million people are subject to forced labor, working on farms, in factories, or as domestic helpers.  Those who are fighting human trafficking say it is a problem in both the developing world and industrial countries, including the United States.

    Stories of modern-day bondage are in the headlines.  Sixty women and girls held captive in New Delhi brothels were rescued by Indian police last year.  And authorities say millions of Indian children are forced to work.

    In June, police freed hundreds of workers held captive at a tomato farm in Mexico.  The workers say they were not paid the promised wages.

    Last month in Los Angeles, authorities announced a settlement with Del Monte Fresh Produce, and the ongoing prosecution of a labor supplier and another grower.  Other growers remain in settlement talks.

    Thiem Chayadit was one of 150 workers from Thailand employed on farms in Hawaii who will share in the $1.2 million Del Monte settlement, outlined by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

    It is good news for Chaiyajit, who borrowed more than $20,000 to pay traffickers to come to America.  He says he was not paid for his work in Hawaii.

    He says he was very frustrated because he did not know where to find the money to pay off the debt in Thailand.

    Commission regional attorney Anna Park says the legal action is part of a wider effort by the U.S. government to end forced labor, in this case using laws against discrimination because of national origin.

    “Often times you hear stories about people escaping from their employment.  You do not really hear those terms in normal employment discrimination cases," said Park.

    At All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, California, trafficking survivor Ima Matul describes her ordeal as a domestic servant after she was recruited in Indonesia.

    “Who does not want to come to the United States?  They promised me $150 a month and a day off, and I do not have to pay any fee for my flight, visa, passport," said Matul.

    But for three years, she was forced to work seven days a week, abused and not paid.  Ima spoke little English when she arrived in the United States, but finally learned enough to write a note to a neighbor, who helped her escape.

    “I still remember exactly how it was and how it was when I was escaping," she said.

    She now works for the non-profit Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking, which helped her create a new life and helps others trapped in labor bondage.

    Church member Aubin Wilson says she invited Ima to speak to the congregation's women to publicize a hidden problem.

    “And to create awareness and to raise monies and pass legislation that stops this trafficking in its tracks," said Wilson.

    Catherine Chen works in Washington, DC for Humanity United, a non-profit group that has partnered with the U.S. government to find new ways to do that, and help the victims.

    “One of the most urgent things that survivors need is access to safe housing, access to basic legal assistance, mental health care, medical care.  Some of even the basic things like toothbrushes and soap, are things that survivors often do not have when they get out of their situations," said Chen.

    She says human trafficking works through a global supply chain and that law enforcement, government and social agencies need to work together to address the problem.

    You May Like

    Syrian Torture Victim Recounts Horrors

    'You make them think you have surrendered' says Jalal Nofal, a doctor who was jailed and survived repeated interrogations in Syria

    Mandela’s Millions Paid to Heirs, But Who Gets His Country Home?

    Saga around $3 million estate of country's first democratic president is far from over as Winnie Mandela’s fight for home overshadows payouts

    Guess Which Beach is 'Best in the US'?

    Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay tops an annual "top 10" list compiled by a coastal scientist, also known as Doctor Beach

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    World Currencies

    EUR
    USD
    0.8954
    JPY
    USD
    109.65
    GBP
    USD
    0.6827
    CAD
    USD
    1.3037
    INR
    USD
    67.037

    Rates may not be current.