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Scandinavia Today / Sweden



Criminal prosecution to be open on company that exploited Cameroonian guest workers in Sweden

Saturday, 07 September 2013
The Swedish prosecutors are opening criminal investigation on companies that employed Cameroonians to plan trees in the Swedish forest in Västerbotten, Northern Sweden. This comes after investigations at the beginning of this year by Swedish television showed that the Cameroonian workers were exploited and abused buy their employer.
Sweden is one of the most competitive economies and democratic countries on the face of the earth. It is also known to be one of the best places to work on earth. Thus on paper if one is lucky to get a job here, irrespective to the type of job, their workers' rights would be protected since it is known that companies, if left on their own, they'll be very happy to invoke slavery back once again.

Cameroonian expolited in SwedenOne of the disappointed, depressed and feeling powerless, Cameroonian weeping for being paid far below expectations and recounted persistent abuses by employer - image from Swedish Television

A group of people from the African country of Cameroon were recruited last years to carry out a very heavy labour intensive jobs of plating trees in some of Sweden's roughest terrains in the forests areas of Västerbotten, Northern Sweden.
Then it turned out that these workers, described here in Sweden as guest workers were  systematically exploited according to an investigation carried out by Swedish television. The network revealed then that these workers were paid low piece rates, and received abusive and various forms of threats from their employer, who also made use of undocumented workers.

After the company failed to pay the Cameroonians and only various forms of donation from Swedish population could help the Cameroonian meet their various cost of living and other expenses, the Swedish legal authorities now thinks the shame to the Swedish system seems to have gone to far and therefore wants to look at the legal aspect of the issue.
According to reports from various Swedish media sources, a case of suspected human trafficking has been opened around the Cameroonian migrant workers hired for tree planting in the forests around Västerbotten.
Cameroonian exploited in Sweden
Cameroonian doing a back breaking job planting trees in Sweden / Image from Swedish Television

The Swedish prosecutor has asked the district court in Umeå to make up a case and thus to appoint courtroom advocates for the 39 victims, writes Swedish regional paper, Folkbladet.
The Company Skogsnicke AB is accused of cheating these workers with a contract that would be equivalent to one year's salary in Cameroon. Many of the workers ended up being indebted in their home country to raise the money to come and work in Sweden.

According to the agreement the workers where to be paid Skr 0.22.8 per plant. A payment by one of the workers, Raymond Ndanyeh, gave about Skr6000 a month - although sometimes he had to work ten hours a days, six days a week.
That contract was criticised and it was determined that the Cameroonians were exploited.
by Team

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