Educational video

Embarking for a safe work in Thailand: risks and rights in the fishing sector

Migrant workers comprise most of the workforce in Thailand's fishing sector. Ensuring that they are aware of their rights and know how to find help to protect them is essential to prevent and end abusive labour practices. A new video provides them with the information they need, in their languages.

News | 30 April 2018
Bangkok (ILO News) – The ILO Ship to Shore Rights Project (funded by the European Union/EU) and the IOM X Campaign (a joint initiative between the International Organization for Migration/IOM and the United States Agency for International Development/USAID) released a video entitled “Real Life of the Fisherman”, between World Day for Safety and Health at Work (28 April) and International Workers’ Day (1 May).

The video is aimed at approximately 60,000 migrant workers who have decided to work in the Thai fishing industry and encourages informed migration and understanding of labour rights to make migration and work safer. It will be used in social media and education campaigns by ILO and IOM partners in Thailand as well as the Ministry of Labour.

According to ILO’s March 2018 Ship to Shore Rights baseline survey on working conditions in Thai fishing and seafood processing, only 26 per cent of workers who experienced labour violations sought out help for their problem. Bringing worker questions and complaints to the attention of the authorities for action is a key goal for project partners.

Produced in coordination with the Royal Thai Government’s Ministry of Labour, unions, and civil society organizations, the 10 minute video is available in Thai, Cambodian and Myanmar languages and downloadable from the ILO Ship to Shore Rights project website.

It focuses on:
  • Information migrants need before deciding to work in fishing and signing a contract.
  • Basic information for migrants on work contracts, minimum wage and payment, equipment on board, medical care, responsibilities of fisher vessel owners.
  • How to connect with unions, civil society organizations and government officials for help with violations.

Contacts for media:

Chonnikarn Phochanakij - ILO  Project Coordinator (Ship to Shore Rights Project)

Mia Barrett - IOM X Communication and PR Officer


ILO Ship to Shore Rights Project: In recent years, a number of graphic reports have triggered an increased awareness of the serious human and labour rights abuses committed in the Thai commercial fishing and seafood processing industries, particularly against migrant workers. The EU-Funded ILO “Ship to Shore Rights” Project (“Combatting Unacceptable Forms of Work in the Thai Fishing and Seafood Industry”) works closely with partners including the Thai Government, employers' organizations, workers' organizations and buyers towards the prevention and reduction of unacceptable forms of work in the Thai fishing and seafood processing sectors.

The project addresses four core objectives covering the 22 coastal provinces of Thailand, with special focus on Thailand’s key fishing and seafood regions including Samut Sakhon, Chonburi, Rayong, Chumphon, Surat Thani, Phang Nga, Phuket, Ranong, Trang, Songkhla and Pattani. The project is based and managed from Bangkok, with a field office in Phang Nga.

European Union (EU) is the world's biggest development aid donor. The EU development policy seeks to foster sustainable development and build a fairer and more stable world. The EU development assistance is concentrated in priority areas such as human rights, democracy and other aspects of good governance, and inclusive and sustainable growth.
The European Union in Thailand is mandated to promote the political and economic relations between Thailand and the EU, inform the public of the development of the EU, and support the implementation of the EU’s assistance programmes.

IOM Xis the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) innovative campaign to encourage safe migration and public action to stop exploitation and human trafficking. The campaign leverages the power and popularity of media and technology to inspire young people and their communities to act against human trafficking. IOM X moves beyond raising awareness to effecting behavior change by applying a Communication for Development (C4D), evidenced-based and participatory framework to tailor messaging for its activities. The campaign is produced in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)- (@USAIDAsia) is the principal U.S. Government agency extending assistance to countries worldwide recovering from disaster, trying to escape poverty and engaging in democratic reforms. USAID’s Regional Development Mission for Asia, based in Bangkok, oversees a broad portfolio of regional and transnational programs, and also provides support to several USAID bilateral missions in Asia as well as manages programs in countries in which it does not have a permanent presence. Its regional approach addresses problems that cross national boundaries, such as human and wildlife trafficking, emerging infectious diseases, malaria and HIV/AIDS.

The Ministry of Labour (MOL) of Thailand has authority primarily in labour administration and protection, skill development and the promotion of employment of people.

Key Project Activities in Collaboration with the Ministry of Labour

  • Ratification of the Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention (P.29) and development of relevant legal framework and policy.
  • Ratification of the Work in Fishing Convention (C.188) and development of relevant legal framework and policy
  • Series of trainings for government officials, particularly the labour inspectorate, to more effectively identify and take action against forced labour and other labour rights abuses in the fishing and seafood sectors.
  • Good Labour Practice (GLP) Programme
  • Support for worker services and activities, and provincial level tripartite meetings to advance reforms in the fishing and seafood sectors