Modern-day slaves are being forced to catch and load seafood that is sold on world markets, including grocery stores and restaurants in the U.S.
The slaves are kept in cages in Benjina, Indonesia, notes a new report by the Associated Press (video below).
Hundreds of the trapped slaves, many from Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), are brought to Benjina via Thailand and forced to work for little or no pay. Their catches are shipped through Thailand to the world seafood markets.
The seafood reportedly makes its way to U.S. grocery stores such as Kroger, Albertsons and Safeway, as well as Walmart and Sysco, which supplies American restaurants. The seafood is also sold to pet food manufacturers.
U.S. corporations condemned the slave labor, and said they work with human rights groups to track down slavery subcontractors.
The Associated Press spoke to more than 40 men, who have been slaves or are currently trapped in the seafood slave trade. The men described how they were subjected to food deprivation and physical abuse, including beatings with sting ray tails, by their employers.
In a follow up report, the Associated Press said that Thai Union Frozen Products, a world seafood supplier, has cut its ties with one of the alleged seafood slave companies.
Thai Union Frozen Products announced it was buying the U.S. company BumbleBee Tuna in December 2014, noted Reuters.