Tags: shrimp | slaves | wal-mart | costco | thailand | seafood

Shrimp Slaves in Thailand Source of Seafood for Wal-Mart, Costco

Image: Shrimp Slaves in Thailand Source of Seafood for Wal-Mart, Costco

By    |   Wednesday, 11 Jun 2014 08:35 AM

The shrimp slaves scandal sweeping Thailand's seafood market has hit the U.S. after Wal-Mart and Costco were named this week as two retailers that sell products from the forced labor supply chain.

According to an investigative report published Tuesday in The Guardian, Wal-Mart stores and warehouse giant Costco sell shrimp and other seafood items that are the products of a forced labor market in Thailand that includes 20-hour work shifts, little or no pay, beatings, torture, and even murder.

Throughout its six-month investigation, The Guardian found that Charoen Pokphand Foods, one of the world's largest shrimp farmers that's based in Thailand, buys fishmeal from suppliers that "own, operate, or buy from fishing boats manned with slaves."

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Both Wal-Mart and Costco issued statements this week regarding the shrimp slaves scandal.

"We are actively engaged in this issue and playing an important role in bringing together stakeholders to help eradicate human trafficking from Thailand's seafood export sector," Wal-Mart told The Guardian.

Meanwhile, Costco said it is demanding that its suppliers remedy the situation.

"We are committed to working with our suppliers of Thai shrimp to require them to take corrective action to police their feedstock sources with respect to poor labor practices," the company said in a statement. "This commitment so far has involved visits by our buying staff to Thailand and discussions with the Thai government, our suppliers, and other industry participants."

Despite The Guardian's alarming findings, the International Labor Organization, U.S. Department of Labor, and Thai government are in the midst of a four-year long mission to guarantee that "enterprises throughout the shrimp and seafood processing industry supply chain comply with national labor laws and international labor standards, in particular those relating to child labor and forced labor."

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The shrimp slaves scandal sweeping Thailand's seafood market has hit the U.S. after Wal-Mart and Costco were named this week as two retailers that sell products from the forced labor supply chain.
shrimp, slaves, wal-mart, costco, thailand, seafood
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2014-35-11
Wednesday, 11 Jun 2014 08:35 AM
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