A "mafia" of recruitment agents is trapping Myanmar migrants to Thailand in debt bondage despite a 2017 law meant to fight exploitation in the kingdom's notoriously shadowy job market, activists and workers say. Migrant labour -- much of it from Myanmar -- has propped up Thailand's economy for years, with foreigners working everywhere from factories to fishing boats, part of a global chain to produce standard supermarket items such as frozen shrimps, ready meals and pet food. After allegations of slave labour and trafficking prompted the European Union to threaten a ban on Thai products in 2015, the kingdom's ruling junta has scrambled to clean up industries reliant on a migrant workforce. The new law that came into force in July last year was meant to crack down on a shady recruitment process, which left desperate migrants vulnerable to corrupt brokers and exploitative companies. But more than a year later, foreign workers and labour experts say a lack of enforcement and government … [Read more...] about Extortion and abuse: Myanmar workers arrive debt-laden in Thailand
Migrant workers rights network
AT last we’re finally getting to the nub of the Brexit issue. The thing which convinced an awful lot of British people to vote Leave two years ago. Immigration. A vexed issue. Complain about it and people will call you a racist. That’s a popular way of shutting down debate these days. Just screech “raaacisst” at someone. I’d go so far as to say it’s one of the reasons Leave won the referendum — because ordinary people were sick of being called racist when they simply worried about the millions of people who have arrived here in the past ten years. About seven million, in fact. An astonishing number. The Prime Minister is about to draw up her plans for immigration post-Brexit. She will be taking advice from the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC). It has suggested we allow in skilled workers who might be vital to our economy. It has also suggested we clamp down on low-skilled migrants. International Trade Secretary Liam Fox fails to back Theresa … [Read more...] about Why do lefties continue to ignore the mass exploitation of migrant workers?
It's important to Stop Trump, but we must also stand with and for migrants here in the UK, writes Matt Carr. By Matt Carr There is something of this trope in the response of the UK public to the political horror film starring the orange-haired beast known as Donald J. Trump. Last week a poll revealed that 1 in 10 people would be willing to protest against a putative ‘working visit’ from Donald Trump next year on a date that has yet to be determined. It is still not certain that this visit is even going to take place. Yet already the community networks that helped organise last February’s Stop Trump/Stand Up to Trump protests are bracing themselves for the occasion and putting dates into their diaries. On one level this response is admirable. It’s a healthy sign that so many people are willing to disregard the grovelling decision by May and her hapless cronies to invite Trump anywhere near these shores. But we should not allow the beast in the White … [Read more...] about Waiting for the Barbarian: We can’t allow Trump’s UK visit to distract us from our own shameful treatment of migrants
On July 5th, 2017, a little more than three years after its completion, Hamad International Airport received the news they had been working towards: The airport became only the sixth in the world to receive five stars from the consultancy firm Skytrax. His Excellency Akbar al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways Group, was, well, flying high: “Hamad International Airport more than exceeds passenger expectations by providing what passengers want in an environment that is beautiful, thoughtful and welcoming”, he said, adding that travellers may shop in world class tax-free stores, relax in one of the airport’s twelve lounges or use some of the many facilities in the spa department, which include several squash courts and a swimming pool. Whether employed by Qatar Airways itself or one of its many subcontractors, several thousand people work at Hamad International Airport; nearly all are migrant workers. In recent years, mainly due to the fact that the tiny gulf state is … [Read more...] about Investigation: Bayern Munich ignored Human Rights Watch report before entering into Qatar Airways deal
Human rights groups have published a report laying bare the extent to which the government’s “hostile environment” immigration policies have spread into all areas of UK life, encouraging “discriminatory” and “racist” behaviour. The report, by Liberty, the National Union of Students and the Migrants Rights Network, among others, shows immigration controls are embedded at the heart of the UK’s public services, and that they: Encourage discrimination against black and ethnic minority (BAME) and visibly “foreign” people. Disproportionately affect young people, homeless people and those on lower incomes, who are less likely to have a passport or other form of ID. Shatter the carefully cultivated relationships of trust between public servants and those they serve. Prevent frontline workers from supporting people they know are in dire need, while burdening them with complex immigration-related tasks. This approach of … [Read more...] about Rights groups decry Theresa May’s ‘hostile environment’ immigration policy