Thursday, February 21, 2013

Slavery, rape and murder in luxury cruises

LINyM[es] has a striking report borrowed from REL-UITA[es], on the horrors that many young workers, particularly women, suffer while working in luxury cruises. While everything may look like leisure in the passenger areas, in the lower cabins where the crew lives the situation is often very different. 

With the expectation of a decent salary many young people are eager to work in these leisure ships for the rich and upper middle classes, most often however they end up being slaved out in endless 14-16 hours journeys under moral and even sexual aggression from the people in charge.

The most extreme cases are those that end in death, but they are only the tip of the iceberg. A Brazilian worker apparently killed herself (? under investigation) after such abuses jumping to the sea near Italy. Another horrific case happened to a girl who was brought to hospital bleeding from all her orifices (you can imagine why), dying soon after. Witnesses also report the murder of a young female worker in another cruise but no investigation was ever carried on. 

These cruises, being owned by Brazilia, British or Danish companies, for example, have however convenience flags from lawless states like Liberia or Panama. This makes legal intervention harder, along with the principle of the captain being the sole ultimate commander on any ship.

Many workers are from poor countries, typically South and SE Asian. While the minimal salary in that sector in Brazil is $800, Filipinos for example accept to work for as little as food and $300 and often they don't even get paid at all.

Lack of class consciousness and therefore unionization is another cause of this abusive situation.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please, be reasonably respectful when making comments. I do not tolerate in particular sexism, racism nor homophobia. The author reserves the right to delete any abusive comment.

Comment moderation before publishing is... ON