Thailand response to the AP report
Press Release: Royal Thai Embassy, Washington, D.C.
Thailand firmly against human trafficking; will intensify cooperation with partners to make seafood supply chain free of human trafficking and forced labor
In response to the AP report “Global supermarkets selling shrimps peeled by slaves”, the Royal Thai Embassy would like to state as follows:
The Thai Government will take actions against all those who are found to be involved in illegal activities. We are determined to ensure that the country’s seafood supply chain is free of human trafficking and forced labor.
The police is now conducting investigation into the specific case mentioned in the AP report. As indicated in the report, arrests have already been made and victims are being cared for in a government shelter for victims of human trafficking. Awareness raising campaign is being conducted for operators so that they will be better aware of the laws and regulations.
The Thai Government will do its utmost to ensure effective enforcement of the new laws and regulations against human trafficking and forced labor in the fisheries sector which have been revised to bring them in line with the international standards.
The new fisheries law of Thailand, which came into force on November 14, 2015 prohibits unlawful labor practices in seafood processing factories. The factory operator who violates the labor protection law or employs illegal alien workers is liable to criminal penalties and revocation of license.
We are working with the ILO and civil society partners to raise awareness and build capacity of inspectors and law enforcement officials. A database and complaint mechanisms have also been set up.
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. During the registration, the authorities will inform the workers of their rights and status.
The Thai Government supports and will work closely with the “Shrimp Sustainable Supply Chain Taskforce” – an international industry alliance set up in July 2014 with members from leading retailers, manufacturers and NGOs to ensure that Thailand’s seafood supply chain is free of illegal and forced labor.
December 14, 2015