Coalition to Abolish Modern-day Slavery in Asia (CAMSA) calls on consumers around the globe to boycott cashews exported by Vietnam because they are a product of modern-day slavery.
Human Rights Watch, in its publication titled "The Rehab Archipelago," reports that forced labor has been used in drug rehabilitation centers across Vietnam, where inmates have to husk and peel cashews, working six to seven hours a day for $3 a month. According to the report, between 2000 and 2010, over 309,000 people passed through 56 drug detention centers inVietnam. Cashew export brings in 1.5 billion US dollars a year for Vietnam.
At a recent hearing before the US Congress, Dr. Nguyen Dinh Thang, Executive Director of Boat People SOS (BPSOS), reported that Vietnamese prisoners, including political prisoners, have similarly been subjected to forced labor: "One Montagnard, jailed from 2002 through 2009, had to do this for 7 years. His hands were injured by the caustic resin from the cashew nuts because he was not allowed to wear gloves."
Speaking for CAMSA, Mr. Vu Quoc Dung, Secretary General of Germany-based International Society for Human Rights, denounces the dangerous cashew work in prisons such as the Z30A Prison in Xuan Loc, where political prisoners are forced each to process 32 kg of class B cashews daily. Some prisoners have developed blindness as a result. Many have suffered injuries to their faces and hands. Those failing to meet the assigned quota would be beaten with a whip and kicked. Political prisoners who oppose forced labor have reportedly been shackled and held in solitary confinement. Read more here.