December 11, 2020

Labour Rights In Seafood Industry In Thailand

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Thailand has over 2mil migrant workers with 80% of those coming from Myanmar. In the fishing industry, the largest group affected by slavery in the seafood industry are people from Myanmar. Sompong Srakaew founded the Labour Rights Promotion Network (LPN) in 2006 because of the injustices he saw in the treatment of migrant workers in Thailand’s seafood processing industry. Sompong began working on migrant worker issues as early as the 1990s, after graduating with a degree in social work.

LPN’s ultimate goal is to empower workers and their communities and improve working conditions across the seafood-processing sector. LPN is actively establishing partnerships with the private sector in and around Samut Sakhon province to promote greater supply chain transparency and foster improved working conditions. The organization’s “Worker Voice Program ? raises awareness about labour rights among Thai and migrant workers. LPN is also developing The Fishermen Centre Prototype to address the root cause of human trafficking and IUU fishing in Southeast Asia’s fishing sector. MAST’s immediate goals include the establishment of fishermen drop-in centres at major ports where fishing workers can receive direct assistance (legal aid, health services, food & shelter), access information about their rights, and organize into their own volunteer networks. LPN has the vision to expand to 22 coastal provinces.

LPN, MAST (Multi-stakeholder Initiative for Accountable Supply Chain of Thai Fisheries), and Chicago-Kent College of Law are also developing the “Digital Intake @ Fishermen Centre ? to set the prototype of an official grievance mechanism for more convenience and the best benefit for fishermen. Working with MAST, Chicago-Kent, and TMFG (Thai and Migrant Fishers Union Group), the plan is to use this new approach to develop the drop-in centre into a real “Fishermen Centre ? for the digital era.

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