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The ratification has been hailed as a crucial step forward, especially for the country’s fishing and seafood processing industries, which have in the past been notorious for labor rights violations and forced labor cases.
The Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF), which has worked to expose incidences of forced labor in the Thai fishing industry since 2013, strongly applauds the ratification, and the progress the country has made. However, the organization says that Thailand must also commit to three other conventions concerning working conditions in the fishing industry, the right to organize and collective bargaining, the NGO stresses.
The Royal Thai Government had previously stated publicly that alongside the Forced Labour Convention it would ratify the Work in Fishing Convention this month. This has now been delayed. The government has also pledged to ratify two other conventions on collective bargaining and the right to organize for both national and migrant workers.
By ratifying all three key conventions, and ensuring that they are effectively enforced, Thailand would send a credible and powerful message to the international community that the country is firmly committed to eliminating human trafficking, forced labor and other forms of exploitation from its fishing industry, says Steve Trent, EJF executive director.
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