Gen Prawit: Thailand committed to tackling human trafficking in fishing industry.

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BANGKOK, 20 March 2015 – Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan is poised to reiterate to the international community that Thailand has been putting its best efforts into the fight against human trafficking in the fishery sector.

During his visit to the three southernmost provinces, Gen Prawit commented on the incident where 500 Thai fishery workers were stranded on Indonesian islands and victimized by human traffickers, saying he is preparing to travel to Indonesia to partake in a bilateral discussion on the matter. He insisted that help is being coordinated urgently for the group in an attempt to bring them home safely.

In regard to a speculation that the European Union is considering issuing a yellow card against Thailand for its non-compliance with the regulations on illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, the Deputy Prime Minister said it is still unknown if the information is true. Nonetheless, he gave assurances that the government has been placing its priority on solving the human trafficking problem in the Thai fishing industry and he is ready to convey the message to the EU.

Gen Prawit, who has been appointed by the Prime Minister as the chairman of the human trafficking prevention committee, elaborated that several measures have already been implemented in accordance with international standards, including registration of fishing vessels, installation of GPS system on board, registration of crew members and verification of each vessel’s information before leaving the shore.