Multi-stakeholder forum on labour conditions in the Thailand’s fisheries sector organized, 23 May 2014

The international brands importing shrimp and seafood products from Thailand as well as their suppliers, Trade Unions and local and international NGO’s, and local industry members joined the “Multi-stakeholder Forum on Labour Conditions in the Fisheries Sector in Thailand” organised on 23 May 2014, in Bangkok.

News | 03 June 2014
The forum was first of its kind in terms of embodying a preparatory process to identify key issues and discussion points by stakeholder groups such as buyers, trade unions, NGO’s and uniting all supply chain actors together around labour themes, was hosted by the ILO through its International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (ILO-IPEC) programme together with the Royal Thai Government (RTG) through its Department of Labour Protection and Welfare of the Ministry of Labour and Department of Fisheries of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives.

The Forum was opened by Mr. Maurizio Bussi, Director for ILO Office for Thailand, Cambodia and Lao PDR and followed by opening remarks by Mr. Pathom Pechmanee, Inspector General – Department of Labour Protection and Welfare (DLPW) and Mr. Chirdsak Vongkamolchoon, Deputy Director General – Department of Fisheries (DOF).

The key problems and underlying issues concerning labour conditions in the sector were discussed through three panels: 1) Fundamental rights of workers and labour migration policy; 2) Working conditions in the shrimp and seafood aquaculture and processing sector, and 3) Working conditions in the fishing sector. Special emphasis was placed on issues of child labour, forced labour, discrimination and trafficking in persons.

The forum was a joint platform for industry stakeholders to discuss problems and the needed actions for ensuring labour rights and good working conditions in the Thai shrimp and seafood processing and the fisheries supply chain. The event was organized as checkpoint to reflect on the status of various plans and initiatives by different stakeholders and as an avenue to explore future priorities for action.
The expected outcome of the meeting is a framework for action document that is currently in the process of being finalised upon further consultations with all stakeholders.

The meeting was part of the ILO-IPEC Project ‘Combating the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Shrimp and Seafood Processing Areas in Thailand’, which is funded by the US Department of Labour for 2010-2014.