Help given to unpaid Thai fishermen in Indonesia


BANGKOK – The Department of Labour Protection and Welfare (DLPW) had provided assistance to 159 Thai fishermen working in Indonesia left without pay and excluded other benefits from their employers, the DLPW chief reveals.

The DLPW’s Director-General Pannee Sriyudhsak disclosed that during 1 October to 2 December 2015, DLPW officials were able to help Thai fishery workers on Ambon Island in Indonesia, successfully returning them to Thailand. After returning, the workers were informed of their workers’ rights in accordance to the law.

The case comes after concerns on the conditions of Thai fishermen on the island were raised. The department has received requests from 210 employees who are in need of the DLPW’s support in upholding their rights. The DLPW has collected all relevant information, inquired the employers, and demanded that proper wages and other benefits must be provided to the 159 employees, at a combined value worth 12,666,949 baht.

Out of all the 210 cases, 51 cases are being processed, 10 cases have been revoked, 2 cases are being prosecuted as criminal offences for the employment of children aged below 15 years old, and 6 cases as human trafficking offences, the DLPW director-general has said.

The DLPW has also proposed to prosecute the owner of Sor Thong-ma fishing vessel, who currently employs 9 crews but has violated the Labour Protection Act in offences regarding human trafficking in labour. The case is now being processed at the prosecutor’s level.