Spotlight News 9/15/2015

Thai Seafood Industry Faces New Scrutiny Over Poor Working Conditions for Young Workers

A new report commissioned by the International Labor Organization (ILO) suggests adolescents working in Thailand’s important seafood industry face higher risk of injury and poor working conditions than adolescents working in other industries. Nearly one in five 15 to 17 year olds working in the industry reported suffering workplace injuries, compared to less than one in ten for other industries. Additionally, adolescents working in Thailand’s seafood industry are often subjected to wet and filthy conditions as part of their work. The report finds that almost ten percent of workers under the age of 18 are employed in the industry. Further, approximately 65 percent of all the under-18 workers surveyed for the report say that they do not possess an employment contract, which might otherwise protect them from abusive labor practices.

The threat to working conditions in Thailand is High, and the fishing industry’s heavy reliance on cheap, manual labor often puts vulnerable workers like adolescents and migrants at higher risk of facing harsh working conditions. The elevated rate of reported workplace injuries among young workers in the industry can be attributed to the higher frequency of adolescents handling dangerous materials such as fire or compressed gases without proper training or safety equipment. Additionally, the layered nature of the seafood supply chain often results in limited purchaser knowledge of conditions at facilities which supply seafood products, resulting in limited purchaser pressure to improve conditions for workers.

Rains, Floods, and Landslides Cause Interruption to Road Transport in Northern Italy

Heavy rains caused flooding and landslides in parts of northern Italy yesterday, interrupting road transport in various parts of Emilia-Romagan province. The province of Piacenza, which sits near the border between Emilia-Romagna and Lombardy, saw the greatest disruption. Approximately 320 millimeters (12.6 inches) of rain fell in four hours in the province. The A1 north-south highway between Bologna and Milan and the east-west A21 highway between Turin and Brescia both run through Piacenza and are likely to continue to see delays. Floods have been known to occur in both low-lying areas of central Italy and mountainous areas in the north of the country.

Three Armed Thieves in Brazil Hijack Cargo Truck Transporting $300,000 of Car Stereos

Three armed thieves in Cubatao, located in Sao Paulo, Brazil, hijacked a cargo truck transporting 1.17 million reais ($300,000) of car stereos. The thieves reportedly took advantage of the slow traffic on SP-150 Highway and boarded the cargo truck, forcing the driver to kneel down. The thieves drove off with the cargo truck as traffic eventually alleviated, disabling the on-board GPS tracking device. The criminals then drove to a secluded spot where they offloaded the shipment of electronics and abandoned both the empty cargo truck and driver. Police are continuing to investigate the incident. The threat of hijacking in Brazil is Severe, and thieves in the country use every advantage possible, including traffic on highways, to successfully conduct theft operations. Electronics, which have a high cost in Brazil, are one of the most commonly targeted types of goods for theft in the country.