Over 50 cases of human rights violations detected in Seychelles last year, group says
ARID said that some of the victims are so poor that they are willing to do anything to survive.(Sammis Reachers, Flickr) Photo License: CC BY-SA 2.0
(Seychelles News Agency) - Over 50 cases of human rights violations were detected in Seychelles last year, the Association for Rights, Information and Democracy (ARID) said in its 2019 annual report.
"Human rights violations mostly reported are unfair labour practices, such as discrimination in the workplace, overwork and being underpaid, lack of access to healthcare, water, food and sanitation," ARID, a not-for-profit organisation, said in a report released on Sunday.
ARID said those cases were reported from hotels, restaurants, construction, security guards, bakeries, farms, agencies, the cleaners' cooperative and Public Utilities Corporation (PUC), among others. The victims of gross violations of human rights in the island nation are citizens of Seychelles and those from Nepal, Sri Lanka, India, Madagascar, the Philippines, China and Bangladesh, it said.
"Some people are more susceptible than others because of their lifestyle and pattern of thinking. Some are so poor that they are willing to do anything to survive. Others are at risk because they use substances, have mental issues and are problematic youth. Often traffickers identify their victims because of their vulnerabilities and create an addiction of some sort," said ARID.
ARID also stated that for the year 2019, there were 22 cases of human trafficking reported and most of the victims are trafficked into the field of unskilled workers, domestic workers, farming and security guards to name a few.
"These cases involved coercion and forced labour. Some traffickers use attractive job offers to cheat their victims. It is likely that there are more of these kinds of trafficking going on but goes undetected," said ARID.
To address human rights issues, Seychelles, a group of about 95,000 people on 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean, has set up a Human Rights Commission. The Commission is a self-governing, neutral and independent body that is not subject to the direction or control of any person or authority.
Its aim is to advise the government on matters related to the protection of human rights, in administrative practice as well as in proposed legislation. It will also undertake research and sensitisation programmes for the furtherance of human rights and monitor Seychelles' compliance with the terms of international conventions and charters relevant to the functions of the Commission.
In its report ARID recommends "increased awareness and understanding of these issues, strengthening of the law's responses, understanding and support to the development of prevention and intervention, support for multi-sector collaboration, and creation of information sharing."