In a report that potentially promises to churn stomachs there are reported 9,200 ‘slaves’ in Singapore, according to the Global Slavery Index.
The report said that these people are in modern day slave-like conditions in the city-state.
Malaysia had something to the tune of 128,000 of such people in modern slave-like conditions whilst India, China and Pakistan hogged the tables with millions of peoples’ living and working in similar conditions.
The report said findings are based on vulnerability to enslavement and cover what the report’s authors deem as political rights and safety, financial and health protections, protection for the most vulnerable and conflict as among others.
The report added the methodology employed was straightforward. It urges if governments have implemented an effective and comprehensive response to all forms of modern slavery with effective emergence and long-term reintegration victim support service, a strong criminal justice framework, high levels of coordination and collaboration, measures to address all forms of vulnerability and strong government policies and legislation to ensure that slavery is not present in business supply chains.
Though the report did not say who those slaves may be, it has become increasingly discernible that the large number of foreign workers employed as menial labourers and residing and working in Singapore, form the largest part of disenfranchised people.
Many are brought into Singapore after being hoodwinked by unscrupulous agents in their home countries and made to toil for unduly long hours; all in the quest to pay off mountains of debts.
Many as yet, have over the years complained bitterly of unpaid wages, insufficient rest days and medical coverage and physical and emotional abuse from employers against whom they have little or no recourse.
A riot in December 2013 by mainly Indian workers exposed fissures in the social safety security network in the country, though a subsequent Commission of Inquiry absolved local authorities and employers of any liability. The riot, triggered by an accidental death, led to widespread damage of police cars and public property.
Instead the Commission cited excessive alcohol consumption among workers as being the reason for the outbreak.