Committee set up to tackle labor problem


The Commerce Ministry has established a special trade and labor committee aimed at solving trade and export problems following accusations by several foreign countries, especially the US, regarding forced labor and human trafficking problems prevailing in the kingdom, said Permanent Secretary for Commerce Srirat Rastapana.

Srirat said Friday, June 20, that the committee comprising high ranking government officials and representatives from the private sector could assist another committee appointed by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), responsible for solving migrant worker dilemmas in Thailand.

Permanent Secretary for Commerce Srirat Rastapana.Permanent Secretary for Commerce Srirat Rastapana.

Concerned ministries and agencies would continue to cooperate in solving child labor, forced labor and human trafficking problems in this country regardless of the outcome of the US report, she said.

Srirat was referring to the US annual report on Trafficking in Persons which was issued late Friday in which Washington decided to drop Thailand to “Tier 3” after four consecutive years of having the kingdom on its Tier 2 warning list.

The US has accused five Thai industries including shrimp, textiles, sugarcane, pornographic materials and fisheries of using child and forced labor.

Srirat said both the public and private sectors are planning to defend against the US charges by this August.

Besides charges on social and labor violations, Srirat said the European Union (EU) members are pushing their trading partners to tighten environmental measures if they still want to continue exporting to their member states.

Thai exporters must refrain from illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing as well as respecting EU Timber Regulations and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, she said.

Violations of EU regulations could cause Thailand to lose vital market share to other countries which are able to address environmental problems better, said Srirat.