Latest modern slavery fight updates -

Trial Begins for Trafficked Thai Berry Pickers in Finland

  • Published on
    October 19, 2017
  • News Source Image
  • Category:
    Anti-Slavery Activists, Forced Labor, Human Trafficking, Law & Policy, Prevention, Supply Chain, Worker Empowerment
Hero Banner

Human trafficking charges have been brought against a Finnish berry entrepreneur for transporting 26 Thai nationals to Finland and exploiting them for their labor. Yle News reports that the trial is expected to last into December as 40 witnesses from Thailand will come to testify.

Prosecutors say that the company housed the workers in shipping containers and buses, confiscating their passports upon arrival. The victims say they had to work 12-15 hours a day, seven days a week, and were only paid 1 Euro per liter of berries picked. They were also forced to pay for their accommodation, transportation, and tools — trapping them in debt bondage with their employer. The prosecutor believes the company took advantage of these Thai workers because they could not speak the local language and came to Finland without any money.

The defendant denies all charges made against him. If found guilty, he faces “possible penalties of a three-year prison sentence and paying compensation of some 60,000 euros to the company’s former workers.”

The judge presiding over the case, Matti Kuuliala, said, “I’ve had this job for thirty years, and am not aware that anything like this has been done before.”


Freedom United is interested in hearing from our community and welcomes relevant, informed comments, advice, and insights that advance the conversation around our campaigns and advocacy. We value inclusivity and respect within our community. To be approved, your comments should be civil.

stop icon A few things we do not tolerate: comments that promote discrimination, prejudice, racism, or xenophobia, as well as personal attacks or profanity. We screen submissions in order to create a space where the entire Freedom United community feels safe to express and exchange thoughtful opinions.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

This week

The "Migration Pact" that could mean the end of human rights in the E.U.

After nearly a decade of deliberation, the European Parliament recently passed a sweeping overhaul of the European Union’s asylum and migration rules with what is known as the “Migration Pact” which advocates say will lead to an increase in human rights abuses, including extreme exploitation. According to Al Jazeera, prominent E.U. figures like German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and E.U. Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson believe these reforms

| Wednesday April 10, 2024

Read more