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Thailand's crackdown on slavery in the fishing industry will succeed if neighbouring countries will adopt similar anti-trafficking laws

Author: Nanchanok Wongsamuth, Reuters, Published on: 8 June 2019

"Thailand needs neighbors' help to crack down on slavery at sea: activist", 5 June 2019

Thailand's crackdown on exploitation and slavery in its multi-billion dollar fishing industry will only succeed if its neighbors step up and adopt anti-trafficking laws, said a labor rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee.

Thai fishing vessels are increasingly registering in nearby countries to avoid scrutiny of their treatment of migrant workers as Thailand boosts its laws on human trafficking, said local campaigner Patima Tungpuchayakul.

..."If we [Southeast Asian countries] want to cooperate in anti-human trafficking efforts, we need to have similar laws," she said, adding that some vessels were choosing to fish further away from Thailand in order to avoid the risk of being punished.

The country has eliminated recruitment fees paid by workers, prohibited the practice of withholding identity documents and banned the use of underage workers, but labor rights campaigners say the reforms are not adequate and abuses persist....

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