The Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, as a core agency overseeing for Thai fishery; aquaculture; and fish processing products, is committed to tackle labour problems in the seafood industries. Recently, the Department has put in motion a plan to protect labour rights and resolve human trafficking in the fisheries industry, from upstream to downstream along the entire supply chain, in line with the national agenda addressing the human trafficking problems.This effort has led to the advent of the Masterplan for Labour Problem Resolutions in the Fishery Industries following the consensus of the Coordinating Subcommittee on Migrant Workers in the fisheries sector dated June 22, 2014, where some practical guidelines were determined to solve human trafficking in fishery industries. The Department of Fisheries, associated with the Marine Department, was commissioned to implement the fishing vessels legalization as well as to develop fishing vessel port in – port out control system. The Department of Fisheries was also assigned to formulate a Masterplan to solve labour problems in the fishery industries and to set up public hearing.
The Masterplan received positive comments and gained agreement for comprehensive and proactive planes that will effectively integrate all parties concerned.
The Masterplan has been approved by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) and Chairman of the National Policy Commission on Labour Migration. The Masterplan will help resolve problems relating to labour migration and human trafficking in the fishery industries more effectively.
The Masterplan of the Labour Problem Resolutions in the Fishery Industries comprises 10 key plans, as follows:
Plan to promote the Good Labour Practice (GLP) guidelines for primary processing workplaces and the GLP guidelines for shrimp and seafood processing factories.
Plan to develop GLP Platform or monitoring system for Thai fishery industries.
Plan to conduct fishing vessel legalization to prevent IUU fishing and human trafficking.
Plan to accelerate the migrant workers in fishing vessels for legal registration.
Plan for joint inspection of fishing vessels and labour on board to prevent and combat IUU Fishing.
Plan for joint inspection Thai fishing vessels in Thai waters.
Plan for joint patrol Thai oversea fishing vessels.
Plan to provide training programs on preventing and combating human trafficking to government officials and relevant private sectors.
Plan to enhance confidence in Thai fishery products for international markets.
Plan for an establishment of the Fishery Labour Screening Center in the origin countries of migrant workersThe Masterplan of the Labour Problem Resolutions in the Fishery Industries will considerably improve working conditions of fisheries labour, whether Thais or migrants. As a result, it will ensure the effective suppression of human trafficking in the industry and their working conditions will fully comply with international standards.