“Torture is every day and killing about every second day. You are afraid of people, even of daylight. No one can hear you out there. You have no papers, nobody knows you exist. I want to tell people about our nightmares.” Anonymous Cambodian Survivor
BUOYANCY is the first fictional feature film about the horrific real-life phenomenon of slavery on Thai fishing boats. Thailand’s fishing sector returned export earnings of $5.5bn in 2017, with half the estimated 600,000 men working in the industry from poverty-stricken countries such as Myanmar and Cambodia. They are trafficked and forcibly set to work on commercial fishing boats, which supply seafood products to consumers around the world.
Every day approximately 60 boys leave Cambodia for Thailand thinking they are going to work in a factory and send money home to their families. Less than 5 of them return. Human Rights Watch conducted interviews with 248 current and former Burmese and Cambodian fishermen as well as Thai officials, boat owners, local activists and United Nations agency staff over a two-year period in all of Thailand’s major fishing ports.
They reported that “Forced labour is routine. The workers we interviewed described being trafficked onto ships, trapped in jobs they couldn’t leave, physical abuse, lack of food, long hours and awful working conditions. The worst thing for many of them was not being paid – the psychological harm and final indignity was the hardest to bear.”