Enslaved migrants rescued in Indonesia

Enslaved migrants rescued in Indonesia

More than 300 Burmese and Cambodian migrants who were forced to work in slave-like conditions have been rescued from an Indonesian island.

As rescue workers visited Banjina Island on 3 April, hundreds of migrants emerged from hiding in nearby forests, Associated Press reports. The majority of the migrants were Burmese, with other workers from Laos and Cambodia.

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While many workers rejoiced at the chance to escape, some who emerged were showing signs of illness. Others refused to leave, as they had not received their pay.

“I am going to see my parents. I haven’t seen them for years,” AP quoted Burmese worker Win Win Ko, 42, as saying.

The 320 migrants who accepted the rescue effort carried what belongings they had in plastic bags.

The International Office for Migration said there are about 40,000 foreign workers who are forced to live in slave-like conditions on Banjina, and other nearby islands.

 

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