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2 Feb 2019

Reuters, The Straits Times

UN urges Asian countries to follow Thailand on fishing pledge

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31 January 2019

Asian countries have been urged to sign up to international standards on working conditions in the fishing industry after Thailand became the first in the region to make such a pledge.

...Thailand...ratified the International Labour Organisation's Work in Fishing Convention, which sets out binding rules and standards for conditions on fishing vessels.

"Thailand is setting an excellent example for the region... I look forward to other Asian countries soon following suit,"the director-general of the United Nations agency, Mr Guy Ryder, said in a statement.

...The ILO convention ratified by Thailand includes requirements relating to occupational safety and health, medical care at sea and ashore, rest periods, written work agreements and social security protection.

It aims to ensure that fishing vessels provide decent living conditions for workers on board.

Ratifying the convention showed the government's strong political will to ensure that working conditions in its domestic fishing industry meet ILO standards, Thai Labour Minister Adul Sangsingkeo said in a statement.

It underlines Thailand's full commitment to raising the standards of labour protection for both Thai and migrant workers and eliminating forced labour, he added.

Human rights groups welcomed Thailand's move, but urged policymakers to entrench the ILO convention in domestic law....