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April 1, 2022

Seasonal workers exploited for forced labour in fishing industry

[Les historien på norsk ved å scrolle ned på siden].

 

Two women are now safely back in their home country after exiting an exploitative situation of forced labour in the fishing industry.

 

Unregulated and underreported (IUU) fishing, labour exploitation and human trafficking are widely recognised as a major global concern in the industry. This is the first referral to Hope for Justice Norway of this kind.

 

The work opportunity came to the women’s attention via an acquaintance who spoke their language. He promised them good work and good pay at a factory in Norway – an opportunity that they seized to better their fortunes.

 

The acquaintance had secured the women flight tickets to make the journey from their home in a neighbouring European country as well as some accommodation. They signed a contract agreeing to a monthly deduction from their salaries to cover the cost of living and their travel.

 

However, since the women did not have Norwegian ID numbers, they were unable to receive any pay for their labour for several months despite long hours working in a factory for a fish farming company.

 

 

Slobodan Tomic, one of Hope for Justice’s Community Engagement Specialists said: “After two months of hard work, working six days a week, and often working more than the agreed hours with no pay, the women became very dissatisfied and began voicing their discontent.

 

“But their perpetrator continued demanding that they work hard. The more the survivors mentioned their difficult working conditions, the more their perpetrator applied psychological pressure on them to work harder.

 

“This ‘conflict’ culminated with the perpetrator telling them they were to leave their jobs. They still had not received any pay at this time.”

 

Recognising that they had been treated unfairly and unjustly, the women contacted their embassy to ask for help, and were in turn referred to Hope for Justice.

 

Our team listened to the survivors’ accounts and worked with our partners to provide them with assistance. We put them in contact with a union and a lawyer as well as arranging for a translator to help with their case. Our team kept the women informed about their rights and supported them through the process, advocating for them to receive the salaries they were due.

 

With our help, the survivors were able to contact the tax office, obtain their papers and eventually receive the pay they were owed.

 

Slobodan Tomic said: “Sadly this is the reality that many seasonal workers face. Perpetrators exploit their vulnerabilities, such as language barriers or lack of understanding of local rules and laws. One thing is sure, that without our help, this couple probably would have gone home without any payment.”

 

Learn the key indicators of forced labour here.

 

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Sesongarbeidere utnyttet i tvangsarbeid i norsk fiskeindustri

 

To kvinner er nå trygt tilbake i deres hjemland etter at de ble utnyttet i tvangsarbeid i fiskeindustrien.

 

Uregulert og underrapportert (IUU) fiske, arbeidsutnyttelse, og menneskehandel er et stort globalt problem i fiskeindustrien. Dette er det første tilfellet av utnyttelse i firkseindustrien som er rapportert til Hope for Justice Norge.

 

Kvinnene hørte om jobbmuligheter i fiskeindustrien gjennom en bekjent. Han lovte de en god jobb med god lønn på en fabrikk i Norge – en mulighet de valgte å ta for å sikre egen fremtid.

 

Den bekjente ordnet flybilletter fra kvinnenes hjemland i Øst-Europa til Norge og et sted for dem å bo. For å betale tilbake for dette, signerte de en kontrakt hvor de godtok et månedlig trekk fra lønnen deres.

 

Til tross for at kvinnene jobbet lange arbeidsdager på fiskefabrikken, hadde de ikke norske personnummer eller d-nummer som man må ha for å få utbetalt lønn i Norge. De fikk heller ikke betalt for flere måneders arbeid.

 

 

Slobodan Tomic i Hope for Justice sa: “Etter to måneders hardt arbeid, hvor de jobbet seks dager i uka, ofte lengere dager enn avtalt og uten betaling, ble kvinnene veldig misfornøyde og de snakket ut om deres misnøye. “

 

Sjefen deres krevde at de måtte fortsette det harde arbeidet. Jo mer kvinnene snakket om de dårlige arbeidsforholdene, desto mer presset sjefen dem til å jobbe hardere.

 

“Denne ‘konflikten’ endte med at sjefen ga dem sparken. På dette tidspunktet hadde de fortsatt ikke mottatt noen betaling.”

 

Kvinnene visste at de hadde blitt behandlet urettferdig, og kontaktet ambassaden deres for å få hjelp. Derfra ble de satt i kontakt med Hope for Justice.

 

Teamet vårt lyttet til historien deres og jobbet med våre partnere for å gi dem assistanse. Vi satte dem i kontakt med en fagforening, en advokat og en tolk for å bistå dem i saken. Teamet vårt informerte kvinnene om deres rettigheter og støttet dem gjennom hele prosessen med å få betalt den lønnen de hadde krav på.

 

Med hjelp fra oss ble kvinnene satt i kontakt med skatteetaten og de fikk de papirene de trengte, og til slutt mottok de den lønnen de hadde utestående.

 

Slobodan Tomic sa: “Dessverre er dette virkeligheten for mange sesongarbeidere. Bakmenn utnytter deres sårbarhet, som språkbarrierer eller mangel på kunnskap om nasjonale lover og regler. En ting er sikkert, og det er at uten vår hjelp, ville dette disse kvinnene reist hjem uten noen betaling.”

 

Les de viktigste tegnene på tvangsarbeid her.

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