Fishermen Endure Slavery-like Conditions in Taiwan

Forced LaborHuman TraffickingSupply Chain

Prosecutors report there was a group of fishermen in Taiwan who were locked in small rooms with no windows to prevent them from escaping. This was just the most recent abuse case of migrant workers on the island. The Jakarta Post reported the crime.

“Fishing and boat company owners were among 19 people charged Monday in the southern city of Kaohsiung for illegally holding 81 foreign fishermen in buildings after they had berthed their boats.”

While at sea, the victims sometimes were forced to work for 48 consecutive hours and paid only US$300-$500 monthly.  Authorities say that Taiwan’s labor laws limit workers to working a maximum day of eight hours for a minimum wage of around $930.

A prosecutor explains, “The accused exploited the fishermen with illegal methods for their own profit, describing the fishermen as slave labor in the sea.”

Those arrested face charges of human trafficking and offences against personal liberty.  If convicted, they could be sentenced to a maximum seven-year jail term.

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