Thai Trawlers: Trafficked into Slavery
THE GUARDIAN – Thai trawlers continue to engage in slavery on the high seas. There is nothing but a jagged line of splinters where Myint Thein’s teeth once stood – a painful reminder, he says, of the day he was beaten and sold on to a Thai fishing boat.
The tattooed Burmese fisherman, 29, bears a number of other “reminders” of his life at sea: two deep cuts on each arm, calloused fingers contorted like claws and facial muscles that twitch involuntarily from fear.
For the past two years, Myint Thein has been forced to work 20-hour days as a slave on the high seas, enduring regular beatings from his Thai captain and eating little more than a plate of rice each day. But now that he’s been granted a rare chance to come back to port, he’s planning something special to mark the occasion: his escape.
Using a pair of rusty scissors, Myint Thein chops off his long, scraggly locks. He rinses himself down with a hose, slips on his only pair of trousers and, peering out at his surroundings, remembers not to open his mouth too wide. A man with no teeth is easy to remember.
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Editor’s View: No doubt many will find this shocking but the remedy is simplistic; you simply refrain from buying the products for once there is no demand it becomes fruitless to engage in a practice to supply. Next time you buy prawns just ask where they came from and refuse to buy them if they originate from Thailand.