Thailand: Sea Slavery

The Outlaw Ocean

Thailand, 2019

The relentless world of sea slavery on the South China Sea was disturbing and brought Ian Urbina to the doors of suspected murderers. In Thailand, he found that it is possible to track down abusers, but local corruption makes prosecution near impossible.

For years, ports in Thailand have been a launching pad for sea slavery, where men and boys are often forced through debt or coercion onto fishing boats. Labor abuse at sea can be so severe that the boys and men who become victims might as well be captives from a bygone era.

Reporter: Ian Urbina
Photographer and Filmmaker: Fábio Nascimento