Thailand Adopting Tech to Fight Human Trafficking of Fishermen

by Admin on June 21, 2018

In the wake of EU pressure to ban fish exports and US State Department declarations that Thailand was failing to do enough to combat human trafficking, the Thai government has introduced a host of technologies to fight the slavery and mistreatment of workers at sea, from satellites to optical scanning, according to the Japan Times.

Migrant fishermen being abused and enslaved is a huge problem in the Southeast Asian nation, with poor Cambodian and Burmese workers often forced into labor on cramped boats with downright terrible living conditions.

The tech-heavy plan introduced by Thai authorities involves using iris, facial, and fingerprint scans to register worker identities so they can determine if each worker is on the right vessel and to help spot trafficking victims.

Thailand is also increasing fines, making it illegal to hire fishermen under 18, and ordering fishing companies to guarantee contracts paid through electronic bank transfers.

But some labor groups argue that the innovation being used to quell the abuse of migrants at sea is more of a PR move than an actual meaningful step to fix the problem.

“It has become an excuse the government is using to justify they have done something, but in practice they don’t use it to solve the problem,” said Patima Tungpuchayakul, co-founder of the Labour Rights Promotion Network Foundation.

Read the full story here.

For a law service specializing in labor law in Thailand, contact the professionals at Chaninat & Leeds.

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