The Nation opinion editorial: Slavery in Thai fishing industry
Apr 01, 2015

The Nation opinion editorial: Slavery in Thai fishing industry

By EJF Staff

The Nation has today published an opinion editorial by EJF Executive Director Steve Trent about slavery in the Thai fishing industry.

The opinion editorial in The Nation, Slavery in the Thai fishing industry: The facts and what's at stake, discusses how attacking whistleblowers distracts from the real issue - Thailand is not doing enough to tackle the terrible human rights and conservation abuses in its fishing industry.

It outlines the extent and severity of abuse in the Thai fishing industry, and how EJF has regularly sought dialogue with the Thai Government to discuss how it might improve efforts to eradicate environmental destruction, illegal fishing and modern slavery from seafood supply chains.

EJF's findings on human rights abuses in Thailand's seafood sector, outlined in our Pirates and Slaves report, have been repeatedly corroborated by numerous sources, such as a United Nations inter-agency survey which found an astonishing 59 per cent of those it surveyed had witnessed an execution at sea, and an ILO survey which noted 94 per cent had no contract; 17 per cent worked against their will; 17 per cent were threatened with violence; and 10 per cent were severely beaten. Last week, the Associated Press released their year-long investigation on slavery in global seafood supply chains, in which they talked to more than 40 current and former slaves in Benjina, Indonesia. The investigation confirms the continued abuse and slavery of migrant workers in Thailand’s seafood industry, whose catches eventually end up in supermarkets around the world.

Thailand has so far failed to demonstrate sufficient improvements in ensuring that Thai seafood is both ethically and sustainably produced.

Read full opinion editorial here.