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The United States is blocking imports from Fiji-based vessels accused of enslaving its crew | US News

The United States has blocked imports of Fiji-based tuna fishing vessels, allegedly enslaved to its crew, into US ports.

On Wednesday, the Customs and Border Protection issued an order to suspend shipments from Hangton No112, a longline vessel operated by the Chinese people. The order was issued after authorities determined that there was credible evidence that the ship’s crew were operating under forced labor conditions.

“Foreign fishing vessels such as Hangton No112 continue to lure vulnerable migrant workers into forced labor situations, allowing them to sell seafish below market prices that threaten the lives of American fishermen.” Said Troy Miller, CBP Deputy Commissioner. “CBP continues to combat the abusive labor practices of these vessels by preventing unethically harvested seafood from being brought to the US market.”

CBP Identified At least three of the 11 Forced Labor indicators of the International Labor Organization, including wage withholding, debt bondage, and ID retention.

Fiji-based tuna fishing vessels have been accused of essentially enslaving their crew. Photo: Caleb Jones / AP

Despite industry efforts to tackle forced labor on fishing vessels, Hangton No 112 imported about $ 40 million in tuna and other fish into the US market. according to Ana Hinojosa, CPB Directorate, investigating allegations of forced labor. The identity of the importer who received the cargo has not been revealed.

NS 34 meter shipOperated under the Fijian flag, was built in 2017 and has a crew of 13 people. In December 2019 Research Greenpeace Southeast Asia and Indonesia Migrant Workers’ Unions have found that the ship has seven indicators of ILO forced labor.

Report Quote “The vessel was not a pelagic fishing vessel and claimed that the Indonesian crew was hired by an Indonesian agent,” said a representative of Hangton. Representatives also denied accusations of payroll deductions and retention of identification.

Wednesday’s announcement will be part of a series of orders targeting Asian fishing vessels in reports of forced labor. May, CBP Blocked import Seafood from the entire fleet of Chinese company Dalian Ocean Fishing. Officials said the crew was forced to work in a slave-like situation, killing several Indonesian fishermen in 2020.

Current quote According to an ILO study, more than 25 million workers worldwide suffer under forced labor conditions, including those in pelagic fisheries that frequently haze from Southeast Asia.

The United States is blocking imports from Fiji-based vessels accused of enslaving its crew | US News

Source link The United States is blocking imports from Fiji-based vessels accused of enslaving its crew | US News

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