Crack down on IUU fishing.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Press Release on 20 December 2015.
With regard to news reports that the European Union (EU) has issued a warning against Thailand to seriously address the concern on slave labour in seafood industry, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reaffirms that the relevant Thai agencies have worked closely with the EU in rectifying illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU). The EU is fully informed of Thailand’s policies on combating human trafficking and maximizing relevant law enforcement against human trafficking in fishery industry, particularly the proclamation of the new Royal Decree on fishery. At the same time, relevant agencies have been conducting thorough inspection on fishing vessels and seafood processing plants to tackle the use of illegal labour and human trafficking. Legal proceedings have also been expedited against those found guilty of human trafficking in the fishing industry to guarantee swift conviction. These measures have led to concrete results in terms of law enforcement and a number of convictions and to the apprehension and legal proceeding against those stand accused of human trafficking in the fishing industry.
The EU delegation is scheduled to revisit Thailand in January 2016 as part of the ongoing dialogue and positive cooperation between Thailand and the EU in addressing the IUU and to develop better administration of the fishery industry in Thailand. There will be consultation on the latest development on the issue, next step of the plan of action to rectify the situation and ways to ensure sustainability in aquatic resources.
Human trafficking in the fishing industry is one of the EU’s prioritized matters. Hence, the visit of the EU delegation in January 2016 provides a good opportunity for Thailand to apprise the former of the great strides made in resolving the problem, both in prosecuting the guilty and in improving relevant laws and regulations with a view to ensuring that foreign migrants in the fishery sector are properly registered in Thailand’s labour system and enjoy full legal protection. Regardless of the outcome of the EU’s deliberation on Thailand’s progress made against IUU, relevant sectors in Thailand remain committed to seriously solving the aforesaid problems in order to achieve sustainability in aquatic resources, which is Thailand’s ultimate goal in looking after our long-term interests.