Labor minister inspects Samae San port

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Labor Minister Sirichai Distakul inspected the “Port-in, Port-Out” center in Samae San to review its work in eliminating human trafficking from the fishing industry.

The general and his team of ministry officials inspected the operations of the center set up in May and reviewed problems facing employers and employees.

The co-called PIPO centers were established after the European Union threatened to ban all Thai seafood imports for illegal, unregistered and unreported fishing practices. While human trafficking was not part of the EU’s complaint, the issues go hand-in-hand, as illegal labor was often used on fishing boats.

Labor Minister Sirichai Distakul (bottom, center with white shirt and glasses) visited the “Port-in, Port-Out” center in Samae San to review its work in eliminating human trafficking from the fishing industry.

The center monitors whether fishing boats going in and out of Samae San are properly registered, have legal crews, and are equipped with only legal nets and other equipment.

Chonburi Gov. Khomsan Ekachai briefed Sirichai on the PIPO’s activities.

Sirichai said Chonburi is a high-priority area, due to the fact it has 11,574 registered business enterprises and 586,527 Thai and alien workers.

He said from May 6 to Nov. 11 the country’s 28 PIPO centers have inspected 109,555 boats and 134,405 employees classified as 24,850 Thai laborers and 109,555 alien workers from three countries.