BANGKOK, Dec 1 — Labour Minister Gen Surasak Karnjanarat will set up a task force to resolving labour problems in fishing industry following warnings of possible boycotts of imported Thai seafood products by the European Union (EU) and the United States, according to Noppadon Kannika, an adviser to the minister.
Mr Noppadon said the EU Fisheries Commission met in October and informed Thailand more than a week ago that it had issued a warning and would give Thailand six months to improve the human trafficking problem in its fisheries industry.
Thailand’s fisheries exports to the EU, a major consumer of Thai seafood products, could be impacted if no satisfactory result is seen, according to the warning.
The United States, another major Thai seafood consumer, informed Thailand that it would send representatives the year to investigate illegal migrant employment in the lucrative industry, said Mr Noppadon.
Like the EU, the US has warned the Thai government that it might boycott Thai fisheries products if no progress is seen, he said.
Accusing Thailand of not resolving human trafficking issues, the US in June this year downgraded Thailand to the lowest ranking in its Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report.
The US State Department downgraded Thailand to a Tier 3 rating in its 2014 report.