We here at Cape Town, come across almost on a monthly basis, cases of either trafficking, abuse or slave labour amoung fisherman. Out of these vessels, about 30% would come directly to our offices seeking help. The rest, one would sort of have to coax (takes weeks), hoping they eventually trust us enough to let us help them.
The problem is, if they do get help, the chances of them being employed again, is slim to none, or if they are seen as traitors for squealing on the owners, they could just “get lost at sea” (worst case). Fisherman often plea with me not to tell the owners they were seeking help. My question then is; what type of fear was and is being driven into them in making them that afraid, a fear so immense, that they would endure the hardship and slave labour? What are the owners or captains saying to these fishermen, that forces them into secrecy?
I always question myself, as to whether or not I am doing the right thing in helping them, morally and ethically it seems right, my fear is however, in helping them, do we cause more harm?