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10 Mar 2017

Men Kimseng, VOA Cambodia

Walmart shrimp suppliers in US human trafficking lawsuit say case was amicably resolved; Cambodian plaintiffs deny

"Cambodians, Speaking Out Against Thai Slave Labor, Seek Justice in United States", 9 Mar 2017

Thailand’s seafood industry has supplied the global market with about $7 billion dollars annually....The shrimp industry needs lots of manpower and has absorbed it from neighboring countries, including Cambodia, because Thai workers do not want to do the arduous work...Investigations...have revealed the human rights abuses in the Thai shrimp industry...Seven victims...filed a complaint to a US federal court in California in June against Phatthana Seafood and S.S. Frozen...The civil lawsuit accuses the US and Thai firms of knowingly profiting from the villagers’ working conditions and violating the Trafficking Victims Protection Act...The defense has argued that the case has already been amicably resolved...Sorphea...recalls seeing representatives from Cambodian embassy coming to the protests, but there was no resolution...An opposition lawmaker...said that Cambodian officials’ ability to provide support is still limited...“The problem we face is the lack of legal services to help our workers,” she said...“Frankly, the government should try their utmost to pay for the legal fees to at least set an example for our laborers who dare file a complaint when they fall victims of such an exploitation.”...