There are more than one million foreign workers in Singapore. They build our houses, take care of our households, prepare and serve our food in restaurants and more. Most, if not all of us, come into contact with them on a daily basis. In short, they look after our families, help keep our city clean and attractive and our economy running.
But beneath the glitz and glamour of Singapore’s shiny façade lies the untold stories of how Singapore is a destination country for exploitative labour and sex trafficking. Singapore is also a significant transit point for trafficked fishermen and port of call for fishing vessels.
In 2016, there were an estimated 9,200 modern-day slaves in Singapore. Many cases go unreported because victims are threatened to not raise red flags that might cause them to be punished, sent home and yet remain heavily in debt. As with any global cities, we in Singapore consume products that are tainted with slave labour in their global supply chains, such as seafood, fruits and vegetables, clothes, shoes, electronics, toys and many more.