Thailand wants to put a stop to the exploitation of illegal workers on fishing boats, particularly now that there is worldwide condemnation of "blood scampi". The revelations forced a lot of supermarkets to take action.
Deal with "long history of exploitation"
Last year, migrant workers from Myanmar and Cambodia revealed slavish working conditions on Thai fishing boats and that has led to worldwide protest from UN organizations and human rights activists. The commotion resulted in a number of distributors, like Carrefour and Colruyt, suspending their collaboration with Thai suppliers.
The Thai government, through Don Pramudwinai (Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs), has now announced a number of measures to halt these methods: workers have to be preregistered, boat owners have to guarantee 30 vacation days per year and at least 10 hours of rest per day.
Human rights organizations remain skeptical
Human rights organizations have not applauded the revealed methods, but remain largely skeptical. Fortify Rights believes people will not follow the new rules all that well and all that quickly. "Thailand has a long history of extortion and exploitation over migrant workers. Therefore we are skeptical if these regulations will be implemented and sustained," director Amy Smith said.
According to an International Labour Organization (ILO), 17 % of Thai fisher boat workers have reported exploitation and abuse issues.