Blog: Thailand

COVID-19 Impact on Migrant Workers in Thailand

The partial lockdown of Bangkok and order by the Thai Interior Ministry to close 18 border points taking effect on March 23 triggered a mass exodus of migrant workers from Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos, with estimates ranging between 60,000 and 200,000 people having left the country.  Few were able to practice social distancing in the crowded bus stations and border areas, raising fears of

U.S. TIP Report 2019: A missed opportunity for Freedom of Association in Thailand?

The 2019 U.S. Department of State Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report was released last week. Rightly so, Thailand remained at its previous ranking of Tier 2. This ranking is reserved for countries that do not meet the minimum standards to address human trafficking but are making efforts to do so. Maintaining the Tier 2 status is consistent with the Thai Seafood Working Group’s recommendation, yet the U.S.

International Buyers Must Prevent Thailand Backtracking on Convention

Many people around the world have been horrified by reports of human rights abuses in the seafood industry. A 2014 article in the Guardian sounded alarm bells that all seafood purchasers large and small should answer. But the issue of slavery in the seafood supply chain is larger and more complex than consumers or even companies can tackle alone.

Worker Voice Without Worker Agency Fails Seafood Workers

“Worker voice” is the current buzzword among corporate social responsibility professionals seeking to end labor exploitation in the seafood industry, yet the original meaning of worker voice – in which workers form associations to collectively bargain for better conditions on an equal footing with employers – is nowhere to be found.

The highs and lows of the 2017 TIP Report

Last week, the U.S. Department of State delivered its annual Trafficking in Persons report. Though the report is much anticipated each year by anti-trafficking advocates, this year drew extra attention as the first report released by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in the Trump administration, and in the wake of two straight years of allegations that political considerations had weighted some country rankings.

There is much in this report for which the State Department should be commended, in particular:

Prison for Freedom? Waiting for Andy Hall’s Verdict

Update as of September 26th, 2016:

The day after this blog was posted, Andy Hall was found guilty and sentenced to a three year suspended sentence and a fine of 150,000 Thai baht. You can take action to defend Andy and call for a change to the laws under which he was convicted by signing our petition here.

Obama Administration grants unwarranted TIP Upgrades

The State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP Report) is a potent annual assessment of governments’ efforts to combat human trafficking that subjects the worst offenders to sanctions. At its best, it provides human rights organizations, unions, and others committed to the fight against human trafficking with a tool to hold governments accountable for their efforts to prevent this egregious crime, protect its victims and prosecute the offenders.

Respect, not restraints, for workers in Thailand's seafood industry

Workers in cages – that’s what reporters from the Associated Press found during a year-long investigation into forced labor in the global seafood supply chain. The workers were Burmese nationals, trafficked onto Thai-run fishing vessels working for an Indonesian firm in Indonesian waters, underlining the complex, global nature of the problem.

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