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6 Nov 2022

Jitsiree Thongnoi, South China Morning Post

Thailand: Thai migrant workers who pick wild berries in Finland & Sweden face inhumane working & living conditions

See all tags Allegations

"Thai migrant workers demand action as berry-picking hardships in Finland go unheard", 6 November 2022

[...] [T]ens of thousands of Thai workers to Finland and Sweden the past decade to pick wild berries. [...]

Thousands of Thai workers arrive in Finland and Sweden every year only to face inhumane working and living conditions. They are then ripped off through a human trafficking process long overlooked by authorities on both sides of the world, advocates say.


Labour activist Promma Phumipan said there were currently up to 18 Thai job agencies recruiting people to pick berries in Sweden and Finland. While the agencies are legitimate, their process involved deception, he said.


According to Finland-based Thai human rights activist Junya Yimprasert who helped both Teerasak and Praisanti, over 110,000 workers went to Finland and Sweden for the berry-picking jobs between 2005 and 2022. Over 4,000 travelled to Finland and just under 5,000 went to Sweden this year.

But this number is set to pick up, said a Thai labour ministry official who accepted the petition last month, as Finland and Sweden face a shortage of workers from Ukraine due to Russia’s invasion, but reassured labourers that any owed payment is now being looked upon with the help of the Thai embassy in Finland.