Thai agencies revising labour law to deal with human trafficking


Thailand’s labour law is now being revised by several concerned government agencies and upon completion it could guarantee customers overseas that there is neither child labour, forced labour nor human trafficking in Thailand, said Ms Puntarik Smiti, deputy permanent secretary for labour.

Most of the human trafficking problem, as accused by the US, lies in the fishing industry sector and concerned agencies such as the Labour Ministry, the Fisheries and Marine departments are currently amending laws related to trawler registration and foreign employees registration, said Ms Puntarik.

All the seven fishing labour coordination offices in seven provinces will play a major role to prevent any abuse in the fishery sector from occurring to ensure that good labour practices are implemented. “It could be proof to show to customers in foreign countries that there’s no child labour, forced labour and human trafficking,” according to Ms Puntarik.

A working committee met recently to discuss the negative US annual report, issued June 20, which downgraded Thailand to “Tier 3” which is  the lowest level after accusing five industries in the kingdom including the shrimp, textiles, sugarcane, pornographic materials and fishing industries of using child and forced labour.

Washington had held Thailand on Tier 2 warning list for four consecutive years before dropping the kingdom to an even lower level.

Ms Puntarik said the meeting decided that the Labour Ministry and concerned government agencies would cooperate more on four issues.

The four issues which are needed for urgent implementation are to regulate migrant workers, which is being implemented now under orders of the National Council for Peace and Order, labour inspection at offices and aboard fishing trawlers, amending laws and to regulate foreign labourers.

A public forum is expected to be held August 1 in Bangkok, aimed at making Thai society to better understand how human trafficking problems are being solved by government agencies.