Slave Labour

img_9940.jpgLike most other Arakans from Myanmar, OO tells a similar story of forced labour. This time, the village he was in was divided into three groups and forced to carry rocks at a quarry. They worked for 2 – 3 days at a time and then the next group would have to work in rotation. They usually worked 13 hour days, working from 6 in the morning till 7 at night.

One day, OO had to work very late. It was 10 at night, and after working for 16 hours carrying stones, he was tired, and hungry, and wanted to stop. And so he asked the soldier on duty if he could go back. The soldier turned on him.

“He hit me with a stick and I fell down, cutting my chin. When I was on the ground, he wanted to hit me again”.

OO instinctively picked up a rock and threw it at the soldier, (more…)



Awng Seng’s (not his real name) story is not something that is easy to listen to. Running away from the military in Myanmar when he was only 21, he was sold to a fishing boat in Thailand, where for 2 years he was a slave, watching others like him being murdered in cold blood.

I have heard stories of men being sold to fishing boats before, but I have never heard anything in detail, and this story left me numb. (more…)