Haitian slaves harvesting sugar cane on a plantation in the Dominican Republic
The cultivation of sugar cane is together with mining and tourism the basis of Dominican economy. The Dominican Republic has a sugar industry that is characterized by a lack of mechanization as well as a concomitant heavy reliance on manual labour. During the harvest season there is always a shortage of workers and the sugar companies use a system of employment that violates every applicable international law regarding the use of forced labor. Most of the workers at the plantations are Haitian immigrants that have either been seduced by false promises of employment, captured at the border or rounded up at random and brought to plantations where they wind up working for low or no wages during the sugar cane harvest. On the plantation they work from sun up to sun down under the watchful eyes of armed military soldiers.
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