Human trafficking in Seychelles Arid deplores dishonest employment agencies, employers, mediators who abuse unskilled workers |31 July 2021
The Association for Rights, Information and Democracy has, in a press statement to mark the World Day against Trafficking in Persons which was, yesterday, July 30, deplored the dishonest and abusive actions and behaviour of people who are acting outside the legal and regulatory framework and preying on the vulnerability of un-skilled foreign workers in our country.
The original statement issued by the Association for Rights, Information and Democracy (Arid) reads as follows:
“People are in search of better income outside their country to support themselves and their families. They travel to other countries for their betterment butinstead they are exposed to challenges anddeprivation that they would not have experienced in their own home and country, including a loving environment.
“There are concerns here in Seychelles, about the role of dishonest employment agencies, and dishonest employers, employment mediators and others acting outside the legal and regulatory framework who feed on the vulnerability of unskilled workers.
Instead of analysing migrants’ well-being, and considering the resources that migrants bring with them,the traffickers have made the most of the situation by exploiting the energy and financial condition of many of their victims.
“Besides, reports of increased workers’ exploitation and criminal activities, the delays in the justice system hamper efforts to bring traffickers to account and to provide justice and compensation to their victims.
“Reported cases of abuses involve the following: Dishonesty about the nature and conditions of work, illegal deductions from salary, debt linked to repayment of recruitment fees, threats if workers want to leave their employers coupled with fear of deportation from Seychelles without pay, passports are retained by employers in the guise of safekeeping.
“Some workers suffer a combination of those abuses which make it forced labour and forced labour amounts to human trafficking. (Human trafficking is associated and sometimes used interchangeably with slavery and forced labour).
“Despite the existence of labour laws and international protocols in place which guide and regulate recruitment, the laws in place and their implementation often fail in defending the rights of migrant workers.
“Human trafficking and drug abuse –Use ofillegal drugs are ideal components of human trafficking operation. Arid has received reports of some employers who got their migrant workers to traffic drugs for them and some of them entice their workers to use drugs and when they get tired of them, they find ways to have them deported by reporting them to the police.
“We all know that human trafficking feeds off vulnerability. It is therefore our obligation and responsibility to combat the exploitation of the vulnerable people in our society.”
Press release from Arid