Instances of human trafficking in the workplace are reaching troubling levels in Iceland, and authorities are now working together to combat it.
RÚV reports that police, public offices, and representatives of Icelandic workers alike are working under the cooperative banner of fighting human trafficking in the workplace. Alda Hrönn Jóhannsdóttir, the main lawyer for the capital area police, told reporters they have received a number of indications that foreign blue collar workers in particular are being subjected to human trafficking.
“There is a group of people who are shuttled between places, made to work in terrible conditions, are not getting paid what they should for this work, get very little resting time between shifts and are even made to rest between shifts at the workplace itself,” she told reporters. “These are simply inhumane conditions.”
Cases of human trafficking and worker exploitation have increased in Iceland in recent years, and the victims are more often than not foreigners. These cases, which have long been a concern amongst labour unions, stretch from everything from the tourism industry to construction.
Workers who are new to the job market, wherever they may hail from, should be sure to inform themselves of their rights and, if an employer will not meet demands to honour those rights, seek recourse from a labour union.