Thai fishing operators ask US to review Thailand’s status

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A group of Thai fishing operators on Dec. 11 asked the United States to remove Thailand from its worst human trafficking watch list.

The organizations of fishing operators and employers aired their request in a press conference.

They said most operators complied with laws and were ready to prove their employment standards with the US.

Present in the press conference were representatives from the Employers’ Confederation of Thai Trade and Industry, the National Fisheries Association of Thailand, the Thai Overseas Fisheries Association, the Trat Fisheries Association and eight employers’ organizations including the Employers Confederation of Thai Business.

Somsak Thanomworasin, chair of the Employers’ Confederation of Thai Trade and Industry, said it was unfair for the US to include Thailand in its Tier 3 human-trafficking watch list because most employers did not treat their workers as the US accused.

He also said that the Thai government and employers jointly implemented solutions including collecting workers’ profiles and good welfare for employees.

Besides, the employer’s confederation studied issues concerning alien workers and seriously advised its members to provide their workers with good wages and welfare.

In the past 20 years, no members of the confederation had violated laws and the group was ready to prove its employment standard with US authorities, Somsak said.

The operators’ organizations proposed the government seal government-to-government labor agreements, set up an alien labor database and an ASEAN alien labor coordination center, take tough action against human traffickers, and import workers from other countries than Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam to prevent a labor shortage in the next two decades.