Eight men who had been held as slaves at South Korean salt farms for several years have sued the government for alleged negligence and police inaction they say largely caused and prolonged their ordeal.

Lawyers said Friday they are seeking compensation of 30 million won ($25,860) for each of the men from the central government and two island counties where the farms were located.

More than 60 slaves, most of them disabled, were rescued from the islands last year after they were found by police officers from Seoul who were searching for a missing person.

Dozens of farm owners and job brokers were indicted, but no regional police or officials were punished despite multiple interviews in which the victims said some knew about the slaves and even stopped escape attempts.