Belfast Telegraph

Forced labour is problem in Northern Ireland: report

By Claire Williamson

A new report has found evidence of forced labour exploitation in parts of the Northern Ireland workforce.

The Institute for Conflict Research (ICR) found that despite "some progress" since 2011, the picture is still "disturbing" and demands "greater attention and "co-ordinated action".

The report also found that the largest number of victims were Chinese (25 people) followed by UK nationals (14 people).

The ICR defines forced labour as a form of modern slavery.

It says it is an extreme form of exploitation that involves threats or physical harm to the worker, confinement to a workplace, debt bondage, withholding wages or excessive wage reductions, retaining the worker's passport or threat of denunciation to the authorities.

The report found that forced labour has been found in the fruit-picking, mushroom cultivation, fishing and domestic servitude sectors.

Interviewees also cited recent cases of potential forced labour including in the shellfish-gathering and recycling sectors.

Belfast Telegraph

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