• 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

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)

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
Sponsored Article
On the move: Sweden's shifting mobility trends
House keys: Shutterstock.

On the move: Sweden's shifting mobility trends

Finding somewhere to live when you move to Sweden is a challenge. With changes afoot The Local caught up with an expert from letting agency Residensportalen to find out in what direction the market is going, and how Google Glasses may just help you find your dream home. READ () »

The Local List
Ten most disgusting Swedish foods
Salty liquorice, anyone? Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Ten most disgusting Swedish foods

Swedish food is, of course, a matter of taste. But it's mostly disgusting. Our loyal followers on Twitter and Facebook shared what they thought were the worst of them all. READ () »

Sweden wants cruise missiles 'for defence'
Defence Minister Karin Enström. File photo: TT

Sweden wants cruise missiles 'for defence'

The Swedish government has announced plans to beef up its defence forces by fitting its fleet of Gripen fighter jets with long-range cruise missiles. READ () »

Swede of the Week
Sweden's oldest would-be MP: 'They promised I wouldn't get in'
Swedes vote in the 2010 elections. File photo: Dan Hansson/TT

Sweden's oldest would-be MP: 'They promised I wouldn't get in'

Gösta Arvedson, 89, is the oldest Riksdag candidate in Sweden, but our Swede of the Week explains that the Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) had to make some unusual promises for him to put his name forward. READ () »

Elections 2014
Most Swedes lack info ahead of EU vote
The Green Party is one of only two parties devoting their websites to the EU elections. Here campaign manager Emma Rung presents the party's posters. Photo: Leif R Jansson/TT

Most Swedes lack info ahead of EU vote

The majority of Swedes feel the country's political parties are not doing enough to inform them about the upcoming European Parliament elections. Only two of the eight parties have dedicated their homepages to the May 25th polls. READ () »

Fatal Norrköping Brawl
Local church tried to stop Norrköping murders
Swedish police on the scene following Monday's fatal brawl. File: TT

Local church tried to stop Norrköping murders

The Syrian-Orthodox Church in Ektorp had tried to quell tensions between two rival families just hours before bad blood spilled into a massive brawl and two brothers lost their lives. READ () »

JobTalk Sweden
'Foreigners don't need to show banks Swedish ID'
The bridge that connects Sweden to the European continent. File: L.E. Daniel Larsson/Flickr

'Foreigners don't need to show banks Swedish ID'

The Swedish agency that helps Europeans fight impediments to the EU principle of free movement has revealed an increase in complaints, including one from a foreign citizen unable to open a bank account in Sweden. READ () »

Eurovision 2014
Pig heart shatters in Sweden's Eurovision clip
Sanna Nielsen in the new clip. Photo: YouTube (screenshot)

Pig heart shatters in Sweden's Eurovision clip

Sweden's Eurovision hopeful Sanna Nielsen released the official video for the song Undo on Wednesday, a clip featuring leather, slow motion destruction, and a frozen pig's heart and some violence. READ () »

Software robot pinches Swedish flats in seconds
Swedish apartments. File: The Local

Software robot pinches Swedish flats in seconds

A Swedish landlord suspects that a property fixer has set up a software robot to sign up for new flats on the market within seconds, and is charging house hunters to use the service. READ () »

Swedish zoo fire 'kills only the spiders'
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Swedish zoo fire 'kills only the spiders'

Twenty-five fire fighters were on hand on Wednesday night when a fire broke out in a southern Sweden animal park. The vast majority of the animals were unharmed, but the cluster of spiders wasn't so lucky. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
On the move: Sweden's shifting mobility trends
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 23
TT
Gallery
Inside the 850-year-old king's coffin
Features
Sponsored: South-eastern Sweden offers Öland beaches and more
Gallery
Swedish underwear shop puts staff in front of the camera
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The Local's Property of the Week - Täby
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - India Unlimited
Features
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - A film, food, and finance feast
National
University applications rocket to record high
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 18-20
TT
Society
Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter
Shutterstock
National
Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Advertisement:
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
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 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

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

726
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