By Anna Olsen, Technical Officer, Tripartite Action to Protect the Rights of Migrant Workers in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS TRIANGLE), 6 July 2015
Just last week, we attended the screening of several men who had been repatriated after a long period away. They had been working as fishers and living in very bad conditions. Some gave evidence that would indicate human trafficking, including being tricked on to boats. Some told stories that displayed elements of forced labour. All had been exploited, in one way or another, and the employer had facilitated their return.
Among many tragic stories, one man stood out. Like many of the others, he had returned without any money, without anything to show for his years of work away from his family. And he had returned with a crushing sense of shame that he was, still, empty-handed. During the interviews, he remarked to another returnee next to him, that he wouldn’t be going home to his family, because he had nothing.
Not going home me ...