13 Jan Thai government steps up anti-trafficking efforts

Written by Mizzima Published in Regional Read 1786 times
A picture made available 27 October 2014 shows Burmese migrant workers sorting fish at the fishing port in Ranong, bordering Myanmar, southern Thailand, 24 October 2014. EPA/BARBARA WALTON
The Thai government says it is working to crack down on abuses involving migrant workers. Myanmar migrant workers sorting fish at the fishing port in Ranong, bordering Myanmar, southern Thailand, October 24, 2014. Photo: Barbara Walton/EPA

The Thai government has cranked up its drive against human trafficking by setting deadlines for action and reports, according to the Bangkok Post on January 13.

This follows a key meeting last Wednesday, chaired by Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, who demanded immediate, monthly reports of action taken on cases of human trafficking, not only in the fisheriesindustry, but also concerning children, women, and forced and migrant labour.

The Thai government has been attempting to clean up its image after investigations revealed the extensive use of trafficked migrant labour - particularly Myanmar, Lao and Cambodian nationals – in the fisheries industry, and in other sectors.

The country has faced widespread criticism since it was downgraded to Tier 3, the lowest rank in the US Trafficking in Persons Report in 2014.

In addition, pressure has been increased on Thailand to abide by the European Union’s international fishing standards related to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

Last year, the Thai government responded to the TIP downgrade by facilitating the registration of foreign workers, including Myanmar nationals. So far, 1.6 million are reported to have been registered.

Thailand relies heavily on migrant labour from Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia to fill jobs that most Thais shy away from, particularly in the tough and poorly paid fisheries sector.

Last modified on Tuesday, 13 January 2015 11:07