Thai survivors of slavery speak out

“Our boss lied to us about our wages, withholding our pay, and only giving a small amount of that owed to us. When we informed the authorities of our mistreatment the owner…denied any wrong doing, lying to the police despite the evidence we raised.” May Lay, Survivor

Zoe Birchall of Walk Free says

Earlier this summer, news of 14 migrant workers made headlines, after they escaped slavery-like conditions at a poultry farm that supplied food giant Betagro. We’ve been campaigning on behalf of the workers as they attempt to rebuild their lives.

But it hasn’t been easy. Betagro and the chicken farm owner have refused to compensate the workers unless they repeal claims of forced labour and serious abuse – allegations that entitle the workers to compensation larger than offered. Furthermore, Betagro and the farm owner have launched criminal defamation lawsuits against the workers for making false claims about how they were treated. The workers now face criminal charges.

As the legal proceedings against the workers escalate, we revisit the survivors’ stories to remember why it is so important we stand behind them.

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