Addressing labour welfare generally and key labour issues such as child labour, forced labour and migrant welfare in the shrimp and seafood processing industry has been identified by ILO constituents in Thailand as an area requiring attention. The industry plays and important role in the country's economic development, being among the three largest sources of national export revenue and employing approximately 650,000 workers both directly in fisheries enterprises and indirectly in related industries. Workers' voices in this sector are rarely heard and unionization in the sector is almost non existent.
ILO-IPEC Thailand project on 'Addressing Child Labour issues in the Shrimp and Seafood Processing Areas in Thailand' is engaging in a long term partnership with the Thai workers' organizations TTUC, LCT, NCPE and SERC to better explore workers' issues in the sector and launch a series of initiatives aimed at discussing workers' concerns.
The meeting gathered together approximately 25 participants representing 5 frozen and food processing companies in Samut Prakan and Samut Sakon as well as representatives of TTUC, LCT, NCPE and SERC. It provide an opportunity for representatives of workers in the shrimp and seafood processing sector to discuss working conditions and welfare. Lack of negotiation power, discrimination, and limited occupational health and safety measures were raised as areas that need attention. These inputs will be taken into consideration in the design of the Good Labour Practice (GLP) training programme that the ILO together with the Department of Fisheries, the Department of Labour Protection and Welfare, the Thai Frozen Foods Association and representatives of employers' and workers' organizations are developing. The GLP initiative will help establishing preventive measures to address the issue of child labour and forced labour in the shrimp and seafood processing sector. it will also promote better working conditions and worker welfare in general while making the industry more productive and competitive.
For further information, please contact:
Mr Tuomo Poutiainen
Ms Emanuela Pozzan