Private and Government Agencies Jointly Open Thailand’s First Fishermen’s Life Enhancement Centre
SONGKHLA, Thailand, May 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — 5 Government and private agencies jointly establish Songkhla Fishermen’s Life Enhancement Centre (FLEC) – Thailand’s first showcase in countering against human trafficking and illegal labour once and for all. The centre will be taking care of some 25,000 foreign workers in Songkhla and the nearby provinces.
The establishment of Songkhla Fishermen’s Life Enhancement Centre was conceived by the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by founder organizations namely Fish Marketing Organization, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Department of Labour Protection and Welfare, Family Planning Association of Thailand, Stella Maris Centre Songkhla and Charoen Pokphand Foods Plc. (CPF).
Dr.Theerapat Prayunrasiddhi, Permanent Secretary for Agriculture and Cooperatives said the Thai government puts high priority and seriously tackling against illegal labour and human trafficking in fishery sector through cooperations between public and private sector for example CPF.
At the same time, uplifting of foreign workers quality of life in line with the principle of humanity and on par with international standards has to be materialized and implementable. The project is part of an attempt to protect workers whether they are legal or illegal to be righteously and fairly treated.
Songkhla’s Fishermen’s Life Enhancement Centre has five major objectives
1.Create voluntary foreign workers network and bring about favorable environment to serve and protect those who are vulnerable or victims of human trafficking.
2. Promote and put anti-human trafficking policies forward at local and provincial level
3. Entice foreign workers and their families to have occupational training and education
4. Provide basic medication services, basic illness screening and religious services for foreign fishery workers and their families
5. Coordinate with concerned agencies on complains on unfair labour practice and worker relation issues
Mr. Suchat Junthalukana, Manager of FLEC and Stella Maris Seafarers Center Songkhla, said the Centre is devised to develop effective mechanisms in working against human trafficking in the local and provincial level. It will also serve as a mean to improve livelihood and create employment opportunities indiscriminately for fishery workers of all nationality including Thai,Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos in Ampoe Muang Songkhla and the nearby area. The assistance will extend to 25,000 people, including the young and those who are liable to be trapped into human trafficking in Songkhla fishery port and its proximity.
“Songkhla Fishermen’s Life Enhancement Centre is initiated to improve quality of life of fishery workers and their families through to those illegal workers who seek legal assistance. The Centre will advise and educate them on issues related to labour protection, provide them humanitarian assistances and raise awareness on anti-human trafficking”, said Mr. Suchat.
The implementation will last 5 years from 2015 to 2020. The Centre committee will assess project achievements on a yearly basis. There are 5 groups constitutes of 25,000 recipients, including 3,563 people who are fishery crew and laborers, 20,000 people who are at risk to be lured into human trafficking, 50 foreign children and 4-15 years old youth, 1,200 women workers and 320 foreign families. The success of the pilot project will be replicated to other ports in Thailand.
Space in the Centre is allocated for classrooms for foreign children, prayer room, infirmary, multi-purpose hall including coordination office, meeting room and library.
Mr. Wuthichai Sithipreedanant, CPF Senior Vice President in Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability Development, noted that CPF realizes the importance of the labour issues which could tarnish the country image.
The establishment of the Centre through private and public sector partnership will solve the problems at their roots by creating awareness, setting the record straight through mutual responsibility of concerned stakeholders and taking into account basic human right.
The effort will uplift the wellbeing of fishery workforces and their families. CPF will provide financial support to assist the Centre offtake. If it accomplishes the goals, there will be further discussions to support concerned stakeholders.
SOURCE: Charoen Pokphand Foods PCL (CPF)