» 09/19/2015, 00.00
2 thousand fishermen freed from slavery in Southeast Asia in 2015
Thousands of migrants from Myanmar, Cambodia and Thailand held and exploited In the eastern islands of Indonesia. Some US food giants have been sued for purchasing products from slave labor. In Thailand, 20% of children exploited in the fishing industry suffer injury or mutilation.
Bangkok (AsiaNews) - More than 2 thousand workers enslaved in the fishing industry were released in the first six months of this year in the countries of Southeast Asia. This is the result of an investigation that began more than a year ago by some reporters of the Associated Press, which led to the discovery of a thriving market in human exploitation which has its hub in the eastern islands of Indonesia and involvies workers from Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos.
A report by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) shows that workers are trapped on islands (such as Benjina, in Indonesia's Maluku), exploited, tortured and locked up in cages. A study by the London School of Hygiene and Tropicl Meicine, based on interviews with more than a thousand survivors, reveals that half of the fishermen who manage to return home suffer from depression and approximately 40% from acute post-traumatic stress disorder or anxiety. Many of them bear the marks of scarring or mutilation.
25 years old Tin Lin Tun, has not seen his family for five years, since a Thai agent took him away, promising him a job in construction: "I'm sure my parents think I'm dead." Rather than becoming a builder, the boy was sold to a fishing boat and taken to Indonesia.
The investigation revealed that the marine products from slave labor are purchased by some US food giants. The importing agencies have condemned all forms of exploitation, but lawsuits were opened against companies such as Proctor & Gamble, Nestle USA Inc. and Nestle Purina Petcare Co.
Labor exploitation in the fisheries sector is one of the most dangerous social ills in Thailand, involving hundreds of thousands of children. According to government data, the injury rate of children under 15 who work illegally on barges and fishing boats is much higher for those who are exploited in the oil or gas industries. According to the International Labor Organization and the Asia Foundation, 20% of young fishermen are victims of accidents, compared to 8.4% of their "colleagues" in other sectors.
Thailand is the third largest exporter of fish in the world, for a market that, according to the Thai Frozen Foods Association, last year reached $ 3 billion. The turnover with Europe totaled between 575 and 730 million euro per year. The sector employs about 300 thousand people, mostly illegal immigrants from neighboring countries.
The children exploited in the Thai fishing industry - many of whom come from Cambodia and Myanmar - also work 50 hours a week. Only 30% of the workers are legal (at least 15 years old) and enjoys the protection of a contract.
Child trafficking still going strong in Aceh a year after the tsunami
NGO warns that children who survived the tsunami are still being sold in Malaysia to work illegally. Illegal adoptions are discovered in Medan and Jakarta.
Child illiteracy and child labour are the continent's main social ills
One fifth of India's GNP is generated by exploited minors working in farming sector.
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South Asia: a committee against child slavery
Indian Nobel Prize laureate Satyarthi and Brazilian Senator Buarque are behind the initiative. Poverty and traditions explain the extent of the problem in South Asia. The group underscores the importance of a joint struggle and better education. Likewise, "religious teachers are crucial in reducing child slavery”.
Child labor: still 168 million "baby-slaves" in the world today
Today is World Day Against Child Labour, still widespread in the world. There are 168 million child laborers in the world, with about 85 million engaged in some of the worst forms of child labor including slavery, trafficking, debt bondage, prostitution and other hazardous work which puts them at risk of death.
Four million child slaves, exploited sexually or for their labour
Children work in fishing, farming, mining and domestic work (with salaries of US a month). More than 100,000 of them are involved in prostitution. The Catholic Church has called on the government to implement effective measures to fight this problem.
Card. Tong’s article on China-Holy See dialogue, arouses joy and dismay
The Hong Kong bishop’s optimism over a change in the method of appointing bishops and the function of the Patriotic Association. But it is unclear whether it is real change or just nominal, in words. Underground bishops are patriotic and love their country, but the Party is suspicious of them. Freedom in episcopal appointments is “essential", but the bishops are not free to exercise their ministry. Patriotic bishops controlled in their visits with members of the universal Church. The "bugs" (hidden microphones) in a bishop’s office.
Card. Tong: The future of Sino-Vatican dialogue from an ecclesiological point of view
Card. John Tong
The Hong Kong Cardinal outlines the steps that hope to propel dialogue between China and the Holy See. Themes include the Pope's role in the appointment of bishops; A change of vision in the Patriotic Association; the possible integration of the underground bishops in the Episcopal Conference. A new article by card. John Tong, following a previous article published a few months ago on "Communion of the Church in China with the universal Church."
18/02/2017 CHINA - VATICAN
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