Diseases and Death: The Occupational Hazard of the Forced Labour
The term occupational hazard refers to the problems that one has to face as a part and parcel of their job description. It is the duty of the employer and the authorities to make sure that the risks of such hazards are kept to a minimum. Constitutionally speaking, a failure to observe this simple rule can make the employer liable to paying a certain amount as a penalty to the aggrieved employee, and consequences can be direr if the situation is grave enough. The scenario, however, changes considerably if forced labourers are brought into the picture.
What are the Odds?
The workers employed in an organisation or industry against their own volition are referred to as forced labours. This particular class of workers are treated to the most inhuman of working conditions, regardless of their age and gender. Every year, a multitude of instances come into the limelight of people being killed in the trafficking industry; perhaps the most heartbreaking aspect of this situation is the fact that a staggering percentage of this population is composed of children.
What Contributes to the Negligence?
There are various factors that contribute to the negligence displayed by employers towards the trafficked employees. The most basic reason is the fact that the employers are not directly responsible for these workers; being illegally employed, the latter actually have no record of holding the job in the first place. Aside from this, there is also a plethora of economic and psychological reasons that promote this kind of nonchalance toward the health and safety of this class of workers.
- First of all, these victims of human trafficking being forced into undesirable jobs are highly vulnerable and pathetically helpless. These people are completely dependent on their exploiters as far as economy is concerned; therefore, they don’t dare to leave the job or ask for help elsewhere. Organisations employing such people take complete advantage of the helplessness of these trapped souls.
- Secondly, trafficking victims employed in factories and industries as unskilled labourers have to be paid only a nominal amount. Moreover, they are also completely helpless and totally at the mercy of their employers and traffickers. Therefore, it is easy to assign the most backbreaking of tasks without having to pay them the appropriate wage for the task. Therefore, employers are at the liberty to force on them limitless work while having no responsibility at the same time.
- Thirdly, the liberty of the employers to deal negligently with their employees arises from the fact that these trafficked victims are often very young and completely uneducated. As a result, many of them are not even aware that they have certain rights as employees, leave alone standing up for themselves.
What Does the Negligence Result in?
Dangerous working conditions coupled with a completely nonchalant employer can lead to several severe consequences, inflicting irreparable damage on the physical and psychological health of the victim.
- Working for long in unhealthy and dangerous workplaces such as construction sites, explosive factories and dangerous agriculture entails exposure to dangerous machinery and other elements. Such workers can contract diseases like tuberculosis, visual and hearing issues, respiratory problems and various kinds of muscular and skeletal issues.
- Humans sold into the sex trade are constantly exposed to the risk of contracting venereal diseases. Other problems like urinary and rectal infections along infertility or unwanted pregnancy are pretty common situations.
- Malnutrition and related illnesses bare common, especially among children.
- Scars and severe injuries resulting from a major beating administered by the traffickers or the clients is pretty common among those in the flesh trade.
Aside of the physical torture, the victims of forced labour are constantly exposed to immense psychological trauma, arising mostly from the haplessness of their situation.