Exposing the True Cost of Shrimp
Overview of Working Conditions
- Almost the entirety of the fishing fleet that provides feed for shrimp farms are crewed by forced migrant workers
- Many processing workers spend up to sixteen hours a day for less than minimum wage
- Workers are constantly exposed to carcinogenic antibiotics meant to keep the shrimp alive long enough to be harvested
Why is This Occurring?
Every Figure Represents 2500 people believed to be enslaved in Thailand
The answer to this question is easy, we the consumers in the western developed world including Canada are responsible for this horrible exploitation and constant human rights abuse. In an attempt to supply this market with cheap shrimp we have seen a massive switch from the fishing of depleted shrimp populations to the industrialized farming of shrimp. In order to increase profits almost all of the industry is switching to immigrant labor, human trafficking, and even slavery. The Thai government is also reluctant to change the industry because of the nearly $7 billion the shrimp industry brings to Thailand.
Up to 90% of workers in Thailand's fishing industry are immigrants vulnerable to expoitation
What Can Be Done To End This Exploitation
The only way to end this exploitation is to ensure that it becomes unprofitable or impossible for companies to operate using slavery. There must be stronger enforcement from the Thai government, and consequences should Thailand fails to comply. Either governments or consumers must take action to ensure that the Thai government and individual companies take a stand and improve the working conditions of these workers and remove them from the existing cycle of exploitation. Nobody deserves to work in such horrid conditions and see their basic human rights violated on a regular basis.You can make a difference, you can help someone halfway across the world simply by being informed, making good consumer decisions, and taking political action through petitioning to the Canadian Government.
What is more important to you, cheap shrimp or human rights?