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Myanmar: Rights Commission to Probe Fishery Slave Claims by ZAW ZAW HTWE November 29,2019   |  Source: The Irrawady

Myanmar’s Human Rights Commission will be conducting an inspection of the fishery sector at Pyapon Township in Ayeyarwady Region after slavery cases involving its fishing rafts attracted public criticism. U Yu Lwin Aung, a senior member of the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission, told The Irrawaddy on Wednesday that the findings and recommendations of the commission would be submitted to the human trafficking police, the Fisheries Department and other government agencies to avoid similar issues in the future.

Fishing rafts are mostly bamboo structures that accommodate at most five people. They stay on the open sea for around eight months without returning to the shore through the dry season from September to May. They reportedly work around the clock, casting nets and sorting and sun-drying the catch in an exhausting schedule. Their main catches are small fish and shrimps to produce ngapi or fish paste, which is used in numerous dishes in Myanmar and Thailand. The offshore rafts have long been associated with forced labor, slavery and human trafficking. A recent case of a university student trafficked on a fishing raft made the headlines.

Ko Myat Thura Tun, 20, told The Irrawaddy that he was sent to work on a raft in October in Pyapon Township. He was rescued after

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Years in Support of Small Scale Fishworkers (1986 - 2018)