The US banned the import of seafood from a Chinese company for imposing forced labor on its employees

The US banned the import of seafood from a Chinese company for imposing forced labor on its employees

The government of the United States has banned the sale of seafood imported by the Chinese company Dalian Ocean Fishing in the face of “credible indications of the use of forced labor” to harvest these products.

The State Department has issued a statement in which it recalls that US law prohibits the importation of products made with forced labor, so this Friday’s decision seeks to help “prevent human rights abusers from benefiting” from these practices.

Already in 2020 the State Department revoked “more than a dozen visas” for people “accomplices” in illegal fishing, unreported and unregulated with links to human trafficking. In addition, reports of the use of forced labor by China’s fishing vessels were described in the Department’s Human Rights Report.

Said report pointed out that other companies in the Asian country “abuse migrant workers subjected to forced labor, which they are forced to work between 18 to 22 hours a day. They are prevented from leaving their ships while facing starvation, restricted communications, inadequate medical care, degrading living and working conditions, physical abuse and debt-based coercion”.

Similarly, the Labor Department has reported the widespread use of forced labor in China’s distant-water fishing fleet.

“The United States will promote accountability for those who use forced labor to exploit people for profit, and we will work with our international partners to ensure that the voiceless are heard and protected,” concludes the statement from the State Department.

On the other hand, the United States announced on Friday that it will impose a series of sanctions against Belarus, following the diversion of a Ryanair flight on Sunday. and the arrest of a political opponent in Minsk.

In addition to the measures already announced in recent weeks, the White House said in a statement that it is drawing up with the European Union “a list of targeted sanctions against key members of (Alexander) Lukashenko’s regime”.

“The forced diversion by Belarus, under false pretenses, of a commercial Ryanair flight circulating between two member states of the European Union” and the arrest of journalist Román Protasévich “constitutes a direct challenge to international norms” said White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

Economic sanctions against nine Belarusian state-owned companies, imposed again in April after the crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, will take effect on June 3.

Following the disputed 2006 elections, Washington prohibited all transactions with these companies.

The US Treasury later suspended these sanctions in 2015, welcoming some progress, but the US government warned in late March that this suspension could not be renewed at the next deadline.

Ben Oakley
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