ILO Combatting Unacceptable Forms of Work in the Thai Fishing and Seafood Industry (Ship to Shore Rights Project) — Seafish

ILO Combatting Unacceptable Forms of Work in the Thai Fishing and Seafood Industry (Ship to Shore Rights Project)

International Labour Organization
ILO Combatting Unacceptable Forms of Work in the Thai Fishing and Seafood Industry (Ship to Shore Rights Project).

The project is due to run from 1 February 2016 to 31 July 2019. The four specific project objectives are to :

  • Strengthen the legal, policy and regulatory framework in the fishing and seafood sectors by raising labour standards and facilitating more legal migration into the seafood and fishing sectors.
  • Enhance the capacity of Government officers, including the labour inspectorate, to more effectively identify and take action against human trafficking and other labour rights abuses in the fishing and seafood processing sectors.
  • Improve compliance with the fundamental principles and rights at work (core labour standards) in the seafood and fishing industries through the implementation of the Good Labour Practices (GLP), and help scale up an effective complaints mechanism with increased awareness and ownership across the supply chain.
  • Enhance access to support services to workers and victims of labour abuses, including children, through engagement and empowerment of civil society organizations and trade unions.

Project outputs

Gap analysis of the Work in Fishing Convention, 2007 (No. 188), and Thai national laws, regulations and other measures concerning conditions of work on board fishing vessels. 30 May 2017.  
This gap analysis of C188 was prepared by an inter-disciplinary team of the ILO, including staff of the EU-funded Ship to Shore Rights Project, following extensive consultations conducted by the ILO in partnership with the Ministry of Labour. This analysis has been presented to the Government and social partners for validation and the results are a reflection of this process of close tripartite consultation and engagement. The report examines Thailand’s existing legal framework for work in fishing followed by a Section-by-Section analysis of the gaps between Thai law and the definitions, scope, general principles, and provisions of C. 188.

Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, 1930, and the fishing and seafood processing industries in Thailand. 30 May 2017.  
As a contribution to the overarching objective of strengthening Thailand’s legal and regulatory framework relevant to forced labour and trafficking in persons, in particular in the fishing and seafood industries, the present research aims to assess the country’s existing laws and regulations, as well as their practical implementation, against two of the main international standards on forced labour, namely the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29), and the Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (the Forced Labour Protocol).

Industry Agrees to New GLP Principles. October 2017. 
Leaders of seafood and fishing associations, government, unions, and civil society organizations pledged publicly to act out nine core elements of credible industry labour programmes. These include clear workplace standards, CEO-level commitment and dedicated labour staff, industry internal due diligence and remediation, engagement with workers and civil society, accountability mechanisms for high- and low-performers, and independent due diligence with public reporting on labour practices. Finally, the revised GLP will look for sourcing choices by downstream buyers–including overseas retailers–that reward good labour practices.

Forced Labour in Thai law. 
Forced Labour is not yet defined in Thai law but the Government’s commitment to ratify the ILO Forced Labour Protocol (P. 29) has produced a draft Forced Labour Act. The ILO has offered comments on the draft and the tripartite drafting committee will take up a second version before the end of the year.

Baseline research findings on fishers and seafood workers in Thailand. 
In 2017, to kick off the Ship to Shore Rights project, the ILO undertook a survey of 434 workers from across Thailand, with the goal of learning more about the country’s fishing, aquaculture, and seafood processing sectors. Participants, the majority of whom were migrants, were asked about recruitment practices, wages, hours, safety and health, support services, complaint mechanisms, living conditions, forced labour indicators, and legal compliance levels. Their evidence is included in a report, Baseline research findings on fishers and seafood workers in Thailand, published in April 2018, which also sets out the limited progress made to date, outlines major challenges remaining in the industry, and makes recommendations for more effective enforcement of Thai law to prevent and end unfair labour practices for migrant workers. The data will be used as a benchmark and compared with information collected at the end of the project in 2019.

Significance for seafood businesses: 

A significant programme in Thailand. This is the International Labour Organization (ILO) working in partnership with Thailand’s Ministry of Labour and the European Union.

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