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News in the Humanosphere: The Guardian reveals Thai fishing industry’s use of slaves

Credit: Kim Seng/flickr

The Guardian published an important investigative report into Thailand’s $7 billion seafood industry, “Rohingya migrants trafficked through deadly jungle camps have been sold to Thai fishing vessels as slaves to produce seafood sold across the world, The Guardian has established. So profitable is the trade in slaves that some local fishermen in Thailand have been converting their boats to carry Rohingya migrants instead of fish. A Guardian investigation into Thailand’s export-orientated seafood business and the vast transnational trafficking syndicates that had, until recently, been holding thousands of Rohingya migrants captive in jungle camps, has exposed strong and lucrative links between the two.” (Guardian

This will be a hollow victory
Burundi is set to hold the presidential election Tuesday amid unrest over incumbent President Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid for a third term in office. “A grenade exploded in Bujumbura, the capital’s central business district, but did not wound anyone, said Deputy Police Spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye. The explosion highlights fears that the polls may trigger violence. Preparations for voting day are complete with ballot boxes and papers distributed to nearly 11,500 voting centers throughout the country and security has been improved to ensure a smooth voting process, the electoral commission Spokesman Prosper Ntahorwamiye said Monday.” (ABC


The trial of former Chadian dictator Hissene Habre accused of overseeing the deaths of thousands had a chaotic beginning Monday as security forces ushered the ex-leader into and then out of the Senegal courtroom amid protests by his supporters. (AP

A highly contagious strain of avian flu is spreading across West Africa, decimating poultry farms and stoking fears the virus will jump from birds to humans, the U.N.’s food agency warned on Monday. (TRF

Civil society organizations in Uganda say a proposed new law to regulate their activities is intended to stifle freedoms and blunt criticism of government ahead of presidential elections next year. (Reuters

When President Obama visits Africa this month, he will be welcomed by a continent that had expected closer attention from a man they claim as their son, a sentiment felt acutely in the Kenyan village where the 44th U.S. president’s father is buried. (Reuters

Four years after the civil war ended in Ivory Coast the economy is booming, but for men like Yaboua Assie, who lost two young daughters in one of the conflict’s most notorious massacres, the justice they seek remains as elusive as ever. (Reuters

Africa is expected to establish a continental Center for Disease Control as part of its fight against communicable diseases that have retarded countries’ growth. (The Herald


Aid group raises Yemen death toll from Shiite rebel shelling near Aden to at least 100. (AP

A suicide bomber has attacked a cultural center hosting anti-Islamic State activists in a Turkish town near the border with Syria, killing at least 31 people in an “act of terror” blamed on the jihadist group. (ABC-Australia

The children had all been shown videos of beheadings and told by their trainers with the Islamic State group that they would perform one someday. First, they had to practice technique. The more than 120 boys were each given a doll and a sword and told, cut off its head. (AP with the story:

Human Rights Watch on Monday accused Israel of “abusive arrests” of Palestinian children as young as 11 and of using threats to force them to sign confessions. (AFP

The developer of a branch of the Louvre being built in the Emirati capital says one of the workers on the project has died in the first such incident on the project. (AP

The U.N. Security Council on Monday unanimously adopted a resolution endorsing the historic deal on Iran’s nuclear program and cleared a path to lift sanctions crippling its economy. (AFP


Protesters clashed with police in southern Nepal on Monday as the government tried to collect the public’s suggestions on the draft of the country’s long-overdue constitution. (AP

Malaysian authorities said they had blocked a U.K.-based website that had published corruption allegations against Prime Minister Najib Razak, but the portal vowed Monday to press on with its exposes. (AFP

A prominent Chinese rights lawyer whose trial is drawing near on charges of inciting ethnic hatred and provoking trouble has been denied access to lawyers for nearly a month, his wife and one of his attorneys said Monday. (AP

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s hostility to “visually awful” wind farms has sent a chill through the industry and could jeopardize the country’s biggest renewable energy project, a $2 billion-plus wind and solar plant in the country’s north. (Reuters

A teenager who was kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf gunmen in March escaped her captors Monday when government troops discovered the militants’ jungle hideout in the southern Philippines, the military said. (AP

The Americas
The Cuban flag was raised over Havana’s embassy in Washington on Monday for the first time in 54 years as the United States and Cuba formally restored relations, opening a new chapter of engagement between the former Cold War foes. (Reuters
...and the rest

Nearly 20 million people were forced to flee their homes due to floods, storms and earthquakes last year, a problem likely to worsen due to climate change, but which could be eased by better construction, a report said on Monday. (Reuters

AIDS researchers released a call to action for a worldwide shift in HIV treatment, to providing medication immediately after diagnosis instead of first watching for signs of illness to appear. (AFP

Nearly one in every 10 people has a mental health disorder, but just 1 percent of the global health work force are working as psychiatrists, occupational therapists or social workers, the WHO has revealed in a report that highlights deepening inequality in access to mental health treatment. (Guardian

The European Union will try to reach an agreement on Monday to tackle the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean despite resistance from Spain and Poland, who say they are not ready to absorb large numbers of new asylum seekers. (Reuters


The ‘boat people’ crisis won’t end until Burma stops persecuting the Rohingya (Guardian

Africa is the Frontier (The Star

Interview: Sierra Leone Is in a Much Better Shape to Deal With Ebola (Concord Times

Lessons in global health: let poor countries run their own programmes (Guardian

Financing Development – Did Addis Summit Meet Expectations? (New Times

Will Buhari Meet Historic Governance Challenge? (AfricaPlus

Victims in the Driver’s Seat: The Trial of Hissène Habré (Justice in Conflict

The problem with evidence based policy change is we don’t have evidence on the important policies (Chris Blattman

3 ideas for making locally-led aid responses a reality (How Matters

The Trial of Hissène Habré: Five Thoughts (Justice in Conflict

Data in action: The role of data in humanitarian disasters (Devex


About Author

Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy is a New Hampshire-based reporter for Humanosphere. Before joining Humanosphere, Tom founded and edited the aid blog A View From the Cave. His work has appeared in Foreign Policy, the Huffington Post, the Guardian, GlobalPost and Christian Science Monitor. He tweets at @viewfromthecave. Contact him at tmurphy[at]