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.
Mike O'Sullivan
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

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7537
JPY
USD
103.79
GBP
USD
0.6032
CAD
USD
1.0957
INR
USD
60.522

Rates may not be current.