Human Trafficking Investigation Expands - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Human Trafficking Investigation Expands

Published February 24, 2016

Main photo by
Chmee2/Wikimedia Commons

Another case of human trafficking is being investigated by the police, and the government has put millions towards combating the practice.

Vísir reports that police are currently investigating a case of human trafficking at a guesthouse in Selfoss. The case dates back to at least 2014, and involves two Polish women who worked at the establishment. While police did not want to divulge too many details to the press, the details are strikingly similar to a case reported on by Fréttatíminn last month.

This investigation follows on the heels of a more recent case of slave labour, wherein two women from Sri Lanka were found locked in the basement of a house in Vík and forced to sew clothing pieces for a company called Vonta International. This company, in turn, sells its pieces to Icewear. Management at Icewear have disavowed any knowledge of slave labour at Vonta.

RÚV reports that the government has already spent four million ISK trying to combat slave labour and human trafficking, with another six million ISK set aside for the effort this year.

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.

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