IOM's Message for World Day against Trafficking in Person

IOM Director General William Lacy Swing's message for World Day against Trafficking in Person


Over 500 New Human Trafficking Victims Identified in Indonesia since Benjina ‘Slave Fisheries’ Exposed


By Paul Dillon

A year-long media investigation into the brutal treatment of men trafficked into virtual slavery aboard foreign fishing vessels operating in Indonesia generated stark international headlines:

  •         Nearly 550 Modern-day Slaves Were Rescued From Indonesia’s Fish Trade. And That’s Just the Beginning
  •         Your Seafood Might Come From Slaves
  •         Hundreds Forced to Work as Slaves to Catch Seafood for Global Supply

Published on March 25th, the Associated Press investigation offered a glimpse into some of the corrupt practices that support the multi-billion dollar fish processing industry – a business that launders fish caught by trafficking victims into a supply chain that delivers seafood to North America, Europe and Australia.

IOM Indonesia’s efforts to repatriate hundreds of victims of trafficking in the fisheries industry in recent years and AP’s story shone a light on a common practice. Traffickers lure impoverished Cambodians and Burmese to Thai ports with promises of well-paying jobs, and instead drug and/or press-gang them onto fishing vessels, keeping them at sea for years at a time, subjecting them to beatings, privation and, for those with the will to resist, sometimes death.

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