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'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

Kitchen staff at the Swedish military base in Afghanistan have been working under "slave-like conditions", being forced to pay for employment, according to a report by Swedish daily Expressen.

"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)

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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... :-/
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