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16 November 2020, 14:38

Lawyers treat passport confiscation as prerequisite for labour slavery in Caucasus

Employers in Northern Caucasus often take away their workers' passports under some plausible pretexts, the "Alternative" anti-slavery movement has stated after a complaint by a resident of Stavropol Territory about forced labour in Ingushetia.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on November 9, it became known that the above woman from the Stavropol Territory had turned to the police with a complaint about being forced to slave labour. She said that a 32-year-old resident of Ingushetia had tricked her out of Nevinnomyssk and was forcibly holding her.

Labour slavery is a problem common to all of Russia, Oleg Melnikov, the head of the "Alternative" anti-slavery movement, said in May 2019.

In Ingushetia, cases of labour slavery are rarely recorded, said Maxim, an activist with the "Alternative". According to his story, most of such cases in Northern Caucasus occur in Dagestan, and they were also observed in Chechnya.

According to Maxim, one of the most frequent methods by which people are kept in slavery is the confiscation of their passports under the pretext of the need to register an employee.

Confiscation of passports from workers is a widespread practice, Marina Agaltsova, a lawyer with the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial", has confirmed. According to her story, this "creates a risk" that a person may find him/herself in servitude.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on November 15, 2020 at 12:10 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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