How Indian fishers suffer exploitation and abuse on UK boats

When Mariyappan, a fisherman from Kanniyakumari received a job offer in the United Kingdom, he believed it would help him lift his family out of poverty. Little did he know that a nightmare awaited him once he began work, on a ship in northeast Scotland as a deckhand. 

For Common Ground, Imran Muzaffar and Aliya Bashir, along with Laura Cole and Christine Ro, traced the journeys of Mariyappan and two other fishers from their homes in south India to the United Kingdom, where they encountered abusive bosses, brutal work conditions and an indifferent administration. Their troubles escalated into a crisis in May 2023, when law enforcement authorities arrested them for allegedly violating visa regulations, and threw them in jail.

“It was difficult for the fishermen to open up initially and narrate their grim stories,” Muzaffar said. “They felt their life had come to an end and that there was no light at the end of the tunnel. Yet, as they spoke about their journeys, their grit and resilience stand out in the face of enormous challenges they have faced at home and abroad.”

You can read the story here.

And you can support more such in-depth and investigative reportage by signing up to be a Scroll Member.

Ajay Krishnan,
Senior Editor

Write a comment ...

Common Ground,

Show your support

Your support is crucial: India needs independent media and independent media needs you.

Recent Supporters

Write a comment ...

Common Ground,

In-depth reporting on the stories that bind us.