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Thailand and Russia

11 minutes
First broadcast:
Friday 24 January 2014

Thailand is one of the world's foremost exporters of seafood, but as Becky Palmstrom found, many of the men working in the country's fishing fleet have been trafficked into a form of slavery on the Thai boats. Forced to work 20 hours a day, seven days a week, they are beaten, sometimes thrown overboard. They are not paid, but told instead that they owe money to the middlemen who tricked them onto the boats in the first place. Becky meets Ken at a shelter for victims of trafficking in Bangkok. Like many of the victims of this form of slavery, he is Burmese. When Becky finds his parents in Myanmar later, hers is the first news they receive of their son in four years.

Our correspondents get insights into countries in ways that surprise even them. That's what Steve Rosenberg found after he posted a photo online of a men's lavatory cubicle at an Olympic site near Sochi, in Russia. It showed that the cubicle had not one, but two toilet bowls, but only one tissue holder. The reaction to Steve's posting was overwhelming, and the responses taught him much about Russia, even about Russia's soul.

Presenter: Pascale Harter
Producer: Arlene Gregorius
Photo: trafficked fishermen on a Thai fishingboat, by Nicolas Asfouri, AFP/Getty Images


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