A brick factory in Dagestan. Photo: “Rospotrebnadzor” (Russian Federal Agency for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing) https://rpn.gov.ru/news/khasavyurtovskiy_kirpichnyy_zavod_v_dagestane_narushaet_zakonodatelstvo_v_oblasti_obrashcheniya_s_ot/

24 May 2024, 21:24

Rights defenders comment on reports of labour slavery in Southern Russia

Because of the imperfect legislation, only a small number of labour slavery cases get into law enforcers' attention. In their turn, those who occur in labour slavery, including in Southern Russia, refuse to complain to the police due to their low legal literacy. However, as noted by human rights defenders, after the widespread coverage by mass media, now in Dagestan, forced labour is used less frequently.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that volunteers told the story of Stanislav Zhukov, a Belarusian citizen, who managed to escape from labour slavery at a brick factory located near Kaspiysk. The factory is still operating, the "Alternativa" anti-slavery movement has informed.

Arina, an "Alternativa" activist, has stated that in Dagestan, the number of identified labour slavery cases has decreased, but factories have not stopped using forced labour.

"There is much less physical violence; the influence measures have become psychological instead of forceful ... The conditions have become more humane, and because of this there are fewer escapes," Arina has explained, adding that bosses of brick factories use alcohol for addicts as an influence method.

Vera Grachova, the chair of the board of the "Partnership in Action" International Network of NGOs against Human Trafficking and Other Forms of Violence, believes that victims of labour slavery refuse to turn to law enforcement bodies.

According to a lawyer at the "Memorial" Centre for Human Rights Defence (CHRD)*, victims are often illegal migrants who are forced to work for free, or disabled people who are forced to beg for money.

*As reported on the website of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), the reason for including on March 1, 2024, the unregistered "Memorial" Centre for Human Rights Defence (CHRD) into the roster of foreign agents was the spread of "inaccurate information aimed at creating a negative image of the Russian Federation, as well as the Russian Armed Forces."

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on May 23, 2024 at 02:08 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Source: СK correspondent

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