More than three years after an investigation by the Guardian revealed that Thai fishing boats were enslaving their workers, Human Rights Watch reports that little has changed in the Thai seafood supply chain.
A new “Ethical Charter” drawn up by two of America’s largest produce associations promises to keep workers safer and ensure humane treatment on farms. But critics say the document is a two-page example of “greenwashing,” light on details and action, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Federal investigators say they haven’t found much evidence to back up claims of labor abuse on Hawaiian fishing boats, reports Civil Beat. The officials started interviewing foreign workers after an Associated Press investigation revealed human trafficking, egregious pay and abusive working conditions for the Southeast Asian men who make up the majority of Hawaii’s fishing fleet crews.
One of the poorest nations on earth, Liberia has made palm oil a key part of its campaign to create jobs and reduce poverty. The head of the country's National Investment Commission says the palm oil sector could bring employment to up to 100,000 Liberians, says the Guardian, but "there was little consideration in this process of those who lived on the land or had the right to it."
"Pervasive human trafficking" helped propel Thailand to the top tier of shrimp exporters, says an Associated Press investigation. The AP says that despite promises by government and business to clean up the seafood export industry, "shrimp peeled by modern-day slaves is reaching the United States, Europe and Asia."
In a piece that explores the dramatic expansion of palm-oil plantations in the rainforests of Indonesia, journalists Jocelyn Zuckerman and Michael Hudson detail abuses committed against the Batin Sembilan, an indigenous community in Sumatra that was forcibly resettled by the largest agribusiness in Asia, Wilmar International Limited.