“We were treated like slaves, all day and all night we had to work. I don’t want anyone else to have to face the same ordeal.” Nayto, Survivor
Late June 2016, 14 migrant workers escaped a chicken farm in the Lopburi region of Thailand. Their reports of harsh treatment, exhaustive hours and despicable work conditions made instant headlines.1
These workers are now safe, sheltered by our partner the Migrant Worker Rights Network (MWRN) in Thailand. However, with no means to survive, they urgently need to receive their owed compensation to rebuild their lives and find decent work.
The 14 workers told MWRN that they were subjected to abusive supervisors, working hours that stretched through the day and night. With little to no time off, they endured terrible living conditions – sometimes forced to sleep alongside the hatchlings. Trapped on an isolated farm, workers could only leave for a single two-hour supervised trip per week. Their passports were confiscated, preventing them from leaving.
“I worked for 4 and a half years, often cramming 2 days’ work into one. I’m tired now and want to go home.” Myint, Survivor.
Betagro are one of Thailand’s largest chicken exporters, supplying chicken for pet food and ready-made meals, and until recently, were a major buyer from this farm.2 They have the power to make sure these workers receive owed compensation, but we’re pretty sure they won’t do it unless they feel public pressure. Will you help?
Reports we have since received, suggest that exploitation is widespread in Thailand’s poultry industry – with similar cases found in other chicken farms.
Call on Betagro to show responsibility by investigating conditions for all workers in their poultry supply chains and ensuring these 14 survivors receive their owed compensation without delay.
Photograph by Maximillian Scott-Murray
- https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/aug/01/thai-chicken-farm-workers-slept-on-the-floor-next-to-28000-birds ↩
- https://coconuts.co/yangon/news/modern-day-slavery-thai-food-giant-drops-chicken-farm-over-abuse-myanmar-workers/ ↩
- http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-01/case-of-chicken-farm-slaves-highlights-thai-labour-problems/7561714 ↩