There are an estimated 610,000 people living in conditions of modern slavery in Thailand (GSI 2018). Men, women and children are victims of human trafficking for forced labour in the Thai fishing industry, subjected to physical abuse, excessive and inhumane working hours, sleep and food deprivation, forced use of methamphetamines and long trips at sea confined to the vessel. Due to the fishing industry relying on trans-shipments at sea to reduce expenditure, some find themselves trapped on long-haul trawlers for years at a time. This makes the monitoring of enslaves labour on fishing vessels costly and difficult.
Borey was trafficked from Cambodia on to a Thai fishing vessel. Though he has now escaped conditions of slavery, Borey still suffers mental health issues from his trauma.
I want to be assisted very much, because I want my mental health to be like before I went to Thailand. I have forgotten many things, I am sometimes dizzy, sometimes have headaches, and I’m always worried. I have told the social worker about this and also bought myself medication at a nearby Chinese medicine shop. Sometimes it helps. I also have dreams and nightmares, dreaming of the time on the boat. Every time I dream I am not well at all. Recently I haven’t dreamt about this, yet I still have headaches.
Narrative provided by Hagar International, reported in Reintegration of Cambodian Trafficked Men, written by Kate Day