Thailand: Issara institute reports modern slavery conditions in fishing industry

Author: Sebastien Malo, Reuters Foundation (NY), Published on: 10 April 2018

"Many in Thai Fishing Industry Fail to See Conditions as Slavery - Research", 05 Feb 2018

Thai fishing boat owners who trap workers on...ships and withhold wages...do not realize that is modern slavery...many operators know smuggling people across borders and forcing them to work at sea for long periods of time is wrong but see withholding documents or forcing them to pay off debts as acceptable, said the report by Issara Institute, a Bangkok-based anti-trafficking organization.Thailand’s multibillion-dollar seafood sector has been the target of scrutiny...following investigations that found slavery, trafficking and violence on fishing boats and in onshore processing facilities.“Vessel owners exploit fishermen yet view themselves as benevolent patrons,” said the report, released last month, based on interviews with 75 Thai captains and large fishing boat owners.The military government in Thailand has rolled out industry reforms since the European Union in 2015 threatened to ban its fish imports, but little has changed, Human Rights Watch said...the findings show a need for stronger efforts to improve the working conditions and bring the fishing industry in line with anti-trafficking laws...“It’s all going to come down to enforcement,” Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

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