Local Connection: Worker Abuse

Local Connection:

Worker Abuse Allegations of worker abuse and human trafficking have made headlines recently. And it's interesting that practices that our community has been aware of for many years are finally considered scandalous.

The story of foreign fisherman - who live and work on Hawaii-based fishing boat without ever being able to leave the dock has been reported frequently by Hawaii News Now and other local media. But an Associated Press report turned it into a national scandal and now industry and government are promising reform.

We also reported on a Texas construction company that shipped in Spanish-speaking workers from Houston for a hotel renovation. The state says they were overworked, underpaid and exposed to unsafe conditions. But they were trapped because the company controlled their paychecks housing and transportation.

And finally an international summit discussed how to stop international human sex trafficking. For years we've looked away from these situations - they involved foreigners, who it could be argued, were making money for their families back home in poor countries.

But times have changed - and its good that we are finally recognizing that if we are going to be champions for human rights around the world… we can not keep ignoring these abuses in our own backyard.

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