• Sweden edition
 
'Slave-like conditions' on Swedish army base

'Slave-like conditions' on Swedish army base

Published: 07 Jan 2012 16:02 GMT+01:00
Updated: 07 Jan 2012 16:02 GMT+01:00

"It makes me livid," Colonel Anders Löfberg told the paper.

"As a Swede you get outraged over all the injustices and we look at this type of exploitation very seriously."

At a routine check at the Swedish military base in Afghanistan, the Swedish Armed Forces discovered the inhumane conditions the staff were subjected to and put their staffing service, Swiss company Supreme, against the wall.

Supreme then carried out an internal investigation and has confirmed that they had hired a recruitment agency to find personnel for the kitchens.

It was allegedly this company which forced the staff to pay for their jobs, which in practice meant they had to hand over up to eight month's pay in return for employment.

Most of the workers are Indian or Nepalese and the responsible company is believed to be located in India.

Supreme has since notified the Swedish Armed Forces that they will report the company and carry out an investigation into the suspicions of human trafficking.

The company also claimed to have cancelled their contract with the Indian company, but has as of yet made no promises regarding compensation for the exploited personnel, according to Expressen.

TT/Joel Linde (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

17:28 January 7, 2012 by zircon
Papillion is for prisoners.
17:31 January 7, 2012 by AHA
What did you expect? Wars never spare anyone. Get out of there. Don´t you think that it is enough? Even the Americans are leaving.
18:42 January 7, 2012 by chemo007
fighting for the sake of f****n American policies based on fake intelligence reports. this is where swedes investing their tax......for nothing..............:-(

SAAB os gone......Americans dont want grippen n saab fighter planes in markete so where is deal with Brazil and India and Pakistan.................hell with war lovers
18:46 January 7, 2012 by sherkovic
what are they doing there on my money???
22:32 January 7, 2012 by kenny8076
dude CHEMO007 get over yourself....... anytime you people do something stupid and inhumane you never want to take responsibility for it, just blame it on America, you all are pathetic..... from slaving berry pickers in northern Sweden to this, to all the closet racist in Sweden. I tell my girlfriend all the time Swedes are the most secretive nasty culture i have experienced.... Americans think Swedes are so polite and sweet and nice.... until you live here, they are rude, racist, gossipers, and some of THE most uneducated people about America i have ever talked too..... that might be perhaps all the SVT propaganda they show about America...... ticks me off how ungrateful the world is.

i cant wait until Ron Paul wins the presidency and he withdraws ALL military bases world wide and pulls ALL troops from around the world and puts them on OUR boarders.... We will see how much hate you all have for America then.... doesnt matter though, when that happens and we arent babysitting the world you all will be on here screaming how selfish we are, we cant win so troll on
23:04 January 7, 2012 by skogsbo
Yeah, where would the world be without the US securing peace for us all, places like somalia, iraq, israel, afghan..... would be really dangerous if it wasn't for the US! ;)
23:16 January 7, 2012 by Indignerad
kenny8076 sounds quite insane.
23:32 January 7, 2012 by Grass
@skogsbo:

Lets just stop for a moment and reflect on all those areas/countries where the US is involved and look at the history of the place...

Unfortunately, it is all "self-inflicted" due to past US policy and actions.....
00:06 January 8, 2012 by Svensksmith
As an American, I would love it if the US would pull all troops out of the rest of the world and use the money saved to invest in renewable and sustainable engery. But we all know that's not going to happen anytime soon.
00:19 January 8, 2012 by beam_me_up
No country is innocent. Sweden stopped it's slave trade, from back in colonial times, in 1847 (they weren't anymore innocent than the next country). Why don't people stop the 'blame game' thing. The problem today is everybody's right, and nobody's wrong. Where is that getting us?
00:37 January 8, 2012 by Grokh
slavery solves unemployment. yay -_-x
01:00 January 8, 2012 by Tanskalainen
At least they peed in the soup.
01:33 January 8, 2012 by gh2008
"Soldiers - don't give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you and enslave you - who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel, who drill you, diet you, treat you as cattle, as cannon fodder.

Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men, machine men, with machine minds and machine hearts. You are not machines. You are not cattle. You are men. You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don't hate - only the unloved hate; only the unloved and the unnatural. Soldiers - don't fight for slavery, fight for liberty.

In the seventeenth chapter of Saint Luke it is written "the kingdom of God is within man" - not one man, nor a group of men - but in all men - in you, the people."
02:13 January 8, 2012 by EP
Oh no so they get 2 Fikas per day instead of the usual 10?
02:33 January 8, 2012 by Just_Kidding
Maybe they should pay salaries as high as the local market in Afghanistan, to remove the motivation for the corruption.
06:53 January 8, 2012 by rybo1
In this part of the world and going across the Persian Gulf to Saudi Arabia, along with its neighbors, these practices are common place. They are not at all unusual.
08:41 January 8, 2012 by skogsbo
My experience of these places is that most Nato / UN nations treat their LECs(locally employed contractors) and TCNs(third county nationals) like scum or slaves, they are paid peanuts, worked like dogs, have dire accommodation etc.. One of the worst was the USA, they are the new empire rulers, probably like the UK was 150 years ago, that didnt work then either. Swedens not perfect, but at least they have done something about it.
14:55 January 8, 2012 by rise
How does making war in Afghanistan protect from war on Swedish soil? It reminds of Karl XII's way of thinking. He was at war the major part of his life, but were thinking the war must never come pass Swedish borders...
16:02 January 8, 2012 by swedejane
Sweden isn't in Afghanistan b/c of "american" policies. They're there because one of their biggest exports is war machinery. They need to field test this stuff...and there's nothing like a nice little war to ramp up sales.
16:16 January 8, 2012 by skumdum
The army shouldn't out source the cooking. Very easy for the enemy to infiltrate.
01:44 January 9, 2012 by efm
Swedes, did I got it right, South Indians are doing the cooking in your base?
08:29 January 9, 2012 by skogsbo
People from many asian nationalities are contracted to do the cooking for many UN/Nato nations.

efm, is this a problem?
15:08 January 9, 2012 by rise
@ swedejane

Yes the cynical might see it as one big Buy & sell market. And didn't Sweden for example buy American helicopters for almost five billion SEK, to be used in Afghanistan? Ah yes, here it is:

http://www.thelocal.se/33110/20110409/

Financial crises or not; the humanity will always find money for war machinery.
16:38 January 9, 2012 by SecondGen
@Kenny8076

You should read Zignew Brezinski's (sp? - President Carters National Security Advisor) interview from the 1990's where he said they had the CIA create a situation in Afghanistan where the Soviets would be forced to invade.

I don't know what it was like before those days in the 1970's, but the last 30 years of war in that country are the results of them trying to artificially create a Vietnam like situation for the Soviet Union using Afghanistan people as pawns. I think it's impossible to say how many were killed over that timeperiod and what damages have been caused to education there.

Remember, that event and the CIA's training created the Muslim extremest we know today.
18:37 January 9, 2012 by efm
It's not a problem, skogsbo, as long as you treat these people fairly and well. Treating them like slaves as this article says is hypocritical to the swedish goody goody

image.

Also, as long as there are tich and poor nations, the richer nations will always employ some from the poorer nations to do some of their job, but that does not mean that you have to treat them like C--p.
23:55 January 9, 2012 by mcarroll1
At least with the Neps cooking the food is edible. Have you ever dined in a Swedish army mess hall where Swedish owned companies hire Swedes to cook Swedish food. My dog eats better for a fraction of the cost.
14:53 January 10, 2012 by rise
@ efm, "...swedish goody goody image."

One doesn't have to be non-Swedish to see through that false surface! Sometimes I'm calling Sweden "det skenheliga landet Sverige" (skenhelig = sanctimonious). ;)Here people are pretending too much... :P
18:01 January 10, 2012 by skogsbo
mcaroll,you're not wrong there. They only do average north european dishes, but the curries, thai and other asian dishes are outstanding. The one thing you always got, even when working with poor ingredients was great food and great service and sense of pride in the food that was produced. All service folk I saw who ate in them, were very respectful and polite, but the problem isn't with the military, it's the contractors who hire the staff.

Rise, I think Sweden is trying to solve the problem, which is more than the US/UK has ever tried to do.
20:12 January 10, 2012 by efm
I like the word sanctimonious! It described some of my

Swedish wife's relatives quite accurately.

Also a closed synonym is " "self righteous". "fake"

"plastic" oh that old word Hypocrite!
14:55 January 11, 2012 by rise
@ skogsbo Yes I don't doubt the Swedes in Afghanistan are trying at 110% to actually solve problems over there. But how to put it, what I mean... Take Libya instead: The Swedish Air Force wasn't allowed to attack by brute force but only in self-defense, while it was performing the reconnaissance missions. And here's the hypocritical part: while claiming that the reconnaissance has helped in saving civilian lives (and I'm sure it did), at the same time Sweden didn't want to make its hands dirty but instead: let for example Norway do the actual bomb droppings..! Sweden put marks on the map and other nations flew in and did the killing. And the holy Sweden can retain its white and clean self-image.

I guess I just want to lift forward the fact that Sweden does dirty things but has a very hard time admitting any wrongdoings... :-/
Today's headlines
Swedish expert slams Norway terror alert
Terrorism expert Ranstorp and a policeman in Norway. Photos: TT

Swedish expert slams Norway terror alert

A Swedish terrorism expert has come forward criticizing the way Norway has handled its recent terror threat, saying the day the threat began was a "total problem in intelligence". READ  

Swedish nurse reported for patient 'death wave'

Swedish nurse reported for patient 'death wave'

A nurse in southern Sweden has been reported for abuse at a senior care centre after she allegedly waved to a colleague with the hand of a recently-dead resident. READ  

Pandas Plopp and Polly born in Swedish zoo
Plopp and Polly, the offspring of Pandora the panda. Photo: Kolmården

Pandas Plopp and Polly born in Swedish zoo

A pair of red panda cubs have been born in central Sweden, a wildlife park announced on Monday. READ  

Green Party ranked 'most gay friendly' in Sweden

Green Party ranked 'most gay friendly' in Sweden

The Green Party's views are 88.6 percent "LGBT-friendly", a Swedish LGBT rights group claimed on Monday, making the Greens the most gay-friendly of all Sweden's parliamentary parties. READ  

Man held on suspicion of murdering wife
Police on the scene. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Man held on suspicion of murdering wife

Updated: Police arrested a man in Copenhagen on the suspicion of killing his wife, whose body was found at the couple's home in southern Sweden during the weekend. READ  

Arlanda, Stockholm
Lightning bolt grounds flight to New York

Lightning bolt grounds flight to New York

Swedes bound for New York learned on Monday morning that their plane had been cancelled after it was hit by lightning during Sunday's thunderstorm. READ  

Elderly Swedish man stripped of his 35 cats

Elderly Swedish man stripped of his 35 cats

The County Administrative Board of Skåne has decided to confiscate the 35 cats of an 81-year-old man who was forbidden from having more than nine of the furry felines. READ  

Wild weather set to strike Sweden anew
Photo: TT

Wild weather set to strike Sweden anew

With Sunday's thunderstorm reported as the worst of the year so far, Sweden is bracing for round two on Monday as meteorologists predict more of the same. READ  

Swedish youth suicides hit 25-year high

Swedish youth suicides hit 25-year high

Last year 1,600 people in Sweden took their own lives - and for Swedes aged 15 to 24, the numbers haven't been so high since 1989. READ  

Floods replace Swedish heatwave
The Viking Lines ferry pictured was ripped away from the dock as a result of the storm. Per Gustavsson / TT

Floods replace Swedish heatwave

The Swedish summer was washed away on Sunday as thunderstorms caused chaos in Stockholm, including torrents of water flooding down stairways at metro stations. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
People-watching, June 26th - 28th. Get inside Stockholm's hottest nightclubs
Gallery
Top ten Swedish taboos
Society
Seven-year-old Swede cycles to Berlin
Politics
'Gaza conflict needs help, not empty rhetoric'
Society
Swedes voted 'most beautiful' in the Nordics
Blog updates

27 July

Approaching Stockholm (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

"I woke up in the comfort of my own little cabin on Eva and Rolf’s boat, it was 7:30am and I was feeling a bit groggy after a couple of beers with all the lovely locals the night before. The previous day had really taken its toll on my body and I was very stiff and..." READ »

 

24 July

Sharing our Pride: Celebrating Love & the LGBT Community! (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"It’s mid- July in Stockholm, and with much of the city on vacation, things can seem a little quiet – the streets, the bus, and the grocery store. One thing that has not paused for a summer break, though, is preparation for Stockholm’s Pride Festival, which will take place from July 28 to August 2...." READ »

 
 
 
Business & Money
Sweden demands EU clarity on Bitcoin tax
National
Swedish organic sales enjoy 'amazing' growth
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Society
What's On in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching July 23
National
Swedish cops elect not to shoot 'angry elks'
Business & Money
New alcohol retail rules threaten micro-breweries
Gallery
People-watching Båstad
Business & Money
Sweden falls to third in global innovation index
Society
Swedish ornithologists keep webcam watch
Photo: Andreas Nordström/Image Bank Sweden
Gallery
Top ten Swedish beach hot spots
Tech
Swedish Wiki vet sets new content record
Photo: Fastighetsbyrån
Lifestyle
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching July 15-16
Photo: Ola Ericson/Image Bank Sweden
Society
What's On in Sweden
Photo: Lisa Mikulski
National
Hope springs eternal for expat pet shop owner
Gallery
Princess Estelle steals limelight at mum's birthday
National
Swedes risk infants' lives by covering up prams
National
Swede runs for office just using Bitcoin funds
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

730
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se