THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

New study shows rampant trafficking, slavery in fishing

LONDON: More than a third of migrant fishermen in Thailand clearly were victims of trafficking over the past five years and even more workers in the industry were possibly trafficked as well, according to a report published on Thursday (Sept 21), reports the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

crimeeconomicsmarinemilitary
By Bangkok Post

Friday 22 September 2017, 09:19AM


Photo from ‘Not In the Same Boat’, IJM.org

Photo from ‘Not In the Same Boat’, IJM.org

Routinely underpaid and physically abused, three-quarters of migrants working on Thai fishing vessels have been in debt bondage, working to pay off an obligation, said the study by the anti-trafficking group International Justice Mission (IJM) and the Bangkok-based Issara Institute, an anti-trafficking NGO.

(IJM's website is here and the Issara Institute's  is here.  The report cited in this story can be read and downloaded here or [PDF link] here.

Thailand’s multi-billion dollar seafood sector came under fire in recent years after investigations showed widespread slavery, trafficking and violence on fishing boats and in onshore food processing factories.

The politically unstable country, now under military rule, has vowed to crack down on trafficking and recently introduced reforms to its fisheries law, noted the report.

The IJM study of 260 fishermen from Myanmar and Cambodia found 38% were clearly trafficked and another 49% possibly trafficked.

Only 13% reported fair labour conditions at sea and no exploitative recruitment, it said.

Three-quarters reported working at least 16 hours a day, and only 11% said they were paid more than B9,000 (US$272) per month, the legal monthly minimum wage in Thailand.

One fisherman was quoted in the report as saying he was held in debt bondage, owing B20,000 to his brother, who worked as a supervisor overseeing fishermen.

“I fear for my life as he has killed in front of me before,” he was quoted as saying. “I don’t dare to run. He would kill my children.”

Field researchers surveyed the 260 fishermen in 20 Thai fishing localities in 2016, collecting information on fishing jobs they had held in the previous five years.

BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET

Thailand, the world’s third-largest seafood exporter, had more than 42,000 active fishing vessels as of 2014 and more than 172,000 people were employed as fishermen, the study said.

The study was funded by the Walmart Foundation, the charitable arm of giant US retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

With release of the study, the Walmart Foundation announced a grant to help the IJM improve law enforcement efforts against human trafficking in the Thai fishing industry. Neither Walmart nor the charity would specify the value of the grant.

Walmart spokeswoman Marilee McInnis told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by email that “combating forced labour remains a key challenge throughout the world.

“Regardless of where it occurs in the global supply chain, Walmart is committed to help eliminate forced labour through transparency and collaboration,” she wrote.

Gary Haugen, the chief executive of IJM, said in a statement that “no person should have to live under the oppression or ownership of another.

“As consumers, we shouldn’t have to wonder if the products we're purchasing are the result of violent injustice,” he said.

 

Read original Bangkok Post story here.

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Still no charges for taxi driver who wiped out six vehicles, killed motorcyclist

As with every other law in Phuket (parking, speeding etc).... one rule for taxis and one rule for th...(Read More)


Saudi teen runaway leaves for Canada

A happy ending, let us hope she isn't a victim of some more patriarchal BS in way of "honor...(Read More)


Layan lockout: Public access denied amid Supreme Court wrangle for B10bn beachfront land

"Well no," well yes, it seems have a problem, first stating incorrectly sect 1336, now ign...(Read More)


Still no charges over deadly collision in Chalong that killed two tourists

One of the biggest problems in Thailand is the fact that influential people can do anything they wan...(Read More)


Local residents angered over open sewer stench

They should check out the Khlongs in kamala as well. Sweetwater Canals they are not. More inane ...(Read More)


Saudi teen runaway leaves for Canada

Hahaha,chewing letters? If one can't even correctly repeat his own writings,what else can i say....(Read More)


Six houses destroyed by fire

khun Dek is missing the point. It is all about own responsibility to have your shed, when you are &...(Read More)


Tout dumps slow loris with tourist, evades arrest at Kata Beach

Dressed in uniforms, not plain clothed. No local police available ( of course not, they are paid for...(Read More)


Local residents angered over open sewer stench

A history of filth, more than 6 years! How many meetings of multi dozens of Officials in overdecorat...(Read More)