UK Newspaper: Thai Seafood Industry Enslaves Muslim Refugees

The British newspaper The Guardian has published an investigation revealing that persecuted Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar (Burma) are being used as slaves by crime gangs controlling part of Thailand’s export-focused sea-food industry.

The Guardian documents allegations that officials in Thailand may be complicit in the abuse of human rights. “According to those sold from the camps on to the boats, this was frequently done with the knowledge and complicity of some Thai state officials. In some cases, Rohingya migrants held in immigration detention centres in Thailand were taken by staff to brokers and then sold on to Thai fishing boats,” the newspaper writes.

“Other Rohingya migrants say Thai officials collected them from human traffickers when they arrived on the country’s shores and transported them to jungle camps where they were held (for) ransom or sold to fishing boats as slave labour.”

Survivors of the slavery rackets told the Guardian that they were forced to work on fishing vessels for up to four years without returning to the shore. The Rohingya face segregation, denial of basic educational rights, escalating violence and a ban on working in professional roles in Myanmar, according to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.