Ministry of Labour Reveals Results from Fishery Inspections Building Awareness on Human Trafficking

ภาพ ก แรงงานแถลงข่าว

               Advisor to the Ministry of Labour revealed impacts from Thailand being classified in tier 3, whereby losing value from fishery exports by 20 percent. This has resulted in distress by the people and business owners, and has caused losses to the nation. It was found that the people felt distant from the problem of human trafficking and thus advised that the Thai society must be more aware about the issue. The Deputy Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Labour revealed results on foreign worker inspections during the 9th to the 15th of January 2015, in accordance to command number 100 by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) in proceeding cases with employers/organizations and workers in misconduct. Results revealed that cases were made with 10 organizations and 94 foreign workers. As for command 101 by the NCPO, cases were processed for 10 organizations and 44 foreign workers. Results from inspections in 162 fisheries, 414 fishing boats and 1,936 workers revealed no misconduct. 

           Advisor to the Ministry of Labour, Dr. Noppadon Kannika held a press release conference to the media about progress in preventing and combatting human trafficking at the press conference room on the 5th floor of the Ministry’s building. He told the media that the Ministry has been conducting fishery inspections every day, providing weekly reports to be used towards targets in prevention and to reduce inequality amongst the people as well as trade barriers. He said that if the nation cannot escape from the tier 3 category, the value of exports to the United States of America and the European Union may decrease by more than 20 percent, in which case impacts would surely be felt by the people and business owners.  In order to be aware of the issue, the Ministry of Labour had reformed the Protection for Workers in Marine Fisheries Act for 2014.  

           The Advisor to the Ministry of Labour further stated that in order for Thailand to be free of human trafficking, the Thai society must be more aware about the issue. All Thai people should come together to combat human trafficking, but this has not happened yet. Thai people still feel distant from the issue so it must also be explained that if human trafficking is around, trade barriers may get higher which will eventually impact everyone. Creating awareness for human trafficking to the people will help support Thailand get out of the tier 3 category, therefore the government and the Labour Minister has pressed the issue and has ensured that all units within the Ministry cooperate with one another and with other relevant agencies which has resulted in progression for area inspection as the present government has enforced the new Protection for Workers in Marine Fisheries Act.
           Deputy Permanent Secretary Mr. Arrug Phrommaneee as the Ministry of Labour’s spokesperson stated that the Ministry of Labour is currently in the process of prevention and has enforced laws, especially for foreign labourers and workers in fisheries. Between the 9th and 15th of January, operational teams conducted inspection in Bangkok areas with the Permanent Secretary of Labour being the chief of the group, with many other agencies also participating cooperatively such as the Ministry of Labour by the Department of Labour Protection and Welfare of Bangkok, the army and police. 20 organizations and 5,325 workers had been inspected whereby cases had been made with 10 companies and 94 foreign labourers. Out of the 94 foreign labourers, 19 were from Myanmar, 72 were Cambodian and the remaining 3 were from Vietnam and Bangladesh. The National Council for Peace and Order’s command number 101 emphasized inspections in other provinces during the 9th to 15th of January 2015 whereby 108 companies and 1,407 foreign workers were inspected. From the inspection, cases were proceeded with 10 companies and 44 foreign labourers consisting of 8 Myanmars, 2 Laotian, 15 Cambodians and 2 from Vietnam and Bangladesh.
          The Deputy Permanent Secretary further revealed results from fishery inspections, which focused on the issue of human trafficking to reduce and prevent risks, whereby the Department of Labour Protection and Welfare had held responsibility for the inspections.  
          The assistant to the Minister of Labour, secretary to the Minister of Labour and advisor to the Ministry also visited the area for inspection. Inspections took place in 22 provinces along the sea line with 112 companies and 1,735 workers being inspected. Additionally, 162 boat operators were inspected with 414 vessels and 1,936 workers. Results revealed no misconduct or wrongdoing. A meeting also took place to explain the new Protection for Workers in Marine Fisheries Act to employers/employees in 736 organization in the fishing industry. A total of 4,620 workers participated in listening to the new information. As of now, no misconduct has been identified and there is still a wait for employment contracts in for fishery workers to be made in Thai, English, Burmese, Laos and Cambodian. In the past there has been problems where workers could not remember vessel names and what the rules and regulations were, therefore the contract will be beneficial in this area. Therefore from here onwards, important documents such as the contract would be kept with both the employer and employee to ensure standards and to be used in maintaining worker welfare and protection.  
          “From the inspection, I hope that risks for human trafficking will be reduced by 60 percent and from there, the degree will be turned up more. I hope that the new regulations will better prepare law enforcement in the fisheries industry. As for foreign labourers, we will increase the intensity and frequency of inspections,” the Deputy Permanent Secretary said.
“The Ministry of Labour servicing from the heart for the employment of Thai people.”
Bureau of Public Relations
Chaninthorn Petchtub – News
Nutjaree Katekaew – Photos
21 January 2015