After paying roughly $2,000 each for work in the Persian Gulf, a group of Sri Lankan migrant workers was taken to Iraq, where they survived a month of imprisonment until they managed to contact the U.N. The International Organization of Migration says worsening conditions in Iraq have encouraged such abuses by labor recruiters.


According to the IOM statement, the migrant workers’ appeals to be sent home were met with threats. They were kept imprisoned for a month with no heating, sanitation or proper accommodation.

It was only when they were being transferred from one location to another that they spotted the UN office and managed to contact officials there, who alerted the IOM.

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