Thailand ready to combat human trafficking

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Press Release: Royal Thai Embassy, Washington, D.C.

Thailand is ready to work with partners in private sector and civil society
to combat human trafficking and improve labor condition in fisheries sector

In response to queries relating to the recent report which was commissioned by Nestle about labor conditions in the seafood sector of Thailand, the Royal Thai Embassy would like to make the following statement:

1. The Thai Government is strongly committed to combatting trafficking in persons and improving labor condition, especially in the fisheries sector. Significant progress has already been made in recent months to strengthen the legal and regulatory frameworks in line with the international standards, while enforcement measures have been stepped up across the country.
2. The report by Nestle however does not reflect up-to-date information of these latest important developments (Attachment), such as:
  • The passage of the Royal Ordinance on Fisheries 2015, which came into force on November 14, 2015. The new law prohibits unlawful labor practices in fishing vessels and seafood processing factories. It introduces serious administrative and criminal sanctions.
  • In consultation with the International Labor Organization (ILO), the Ministerial Regulation on Labor Protection in Sea Fishery Work (2014) was revised to be in line with the ILO Convention No. 188 (Work in Fishing Convention 2007).
  • The setting up of port-in-port-out controlling centers in 22 coastal provinces to inspect unlawful labor practices and prevent the use of illegal workers in fishing vessels.
  • The announcement of regulation that prohibits employment of persons under 18 years of age in fishing vessel.
  • Since November 2, 2015, migrant workers on fishing vessels and in seafood processing factories are permitted to change their employers within the same group. There is no limitation on the number of employers or provinces in which workers can work. This new measure would increase freedom and job mobility of migrant workers.
  • A new round of registration of illegal migrant workers from neighboring countries in fishing vessels and seafood processing factories has started from November 2, 2015 to January 30, 2016 in order to facilitate their regularization.
  • Many suspects, including the President of a provincial fishing association, were recently arrested on charges of trafficking and forced labor.
  • New divisions exclusively dedicated to handling trafficking in persons cases have been set up under the Criminal Court and the Office of the Attorney General to expedite the legal process.
3. The Thai Government is ready to work with Nestle and other partners in the private sector and the civil society to combat human trafficking and unlawful labor practices in the seafood industry.

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Washington, D.C.
December 2, 2015

 

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Download PDF File HERE.

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