BSCI Meets Thai Government to Discuss Progress on Labour Issues

20-03-2015

BSCI continuously monitors labour conditions in Thailand to ensure progress is made in addressing issues of slavery on fishing boats and poor working conditions for migrant workers. In the framework of these activities, BSCI met in Brussels on 5 March with a delegation from the Thai government and representatives from the Thai Tuna Industry Association and Labour Rights Promotion Network Foundation to discuss the role of the Thai authorities in enforcing labour laws and human rights.

During the meeting, BSCI learned from the delegation about recent progress to improve labour conditions in Thailand. In collaboration with ILO, the Thai government is making amendments to the current labour law to create export zones at the borders and control the problem of migrant workers, and installed a hotline for complaints, amongst other measures. Delegates from the Thai government expressed their interest towards further dialogue and acknowledged that sustainable trade is a shared responsibility that requires collaboration between government and other stakeholders.

BSCI firmly endorses the role of government, not only in creating legal frameworks for safe conditions for workers and respect of their human rights, but particularly for enforcing them. Recent declarations by Prime Minister, Prayuth Chan-ocha, go in this direction when he vowed to take legal action against companies using forced labor in fishing boats. This statement came after a new investigation on slavery in Thai fishing boats was released by the press agency Associated Press earlier this week.

Thailand is an important trading partner for Europe, and BSCI companies have a strong interest in working towards improved safety and sustainability of labour conditions – particularly in the agriculture and aquaculture sectors. BSCI has previously facilitated meetings with the International Labor Organization (ILO) and other stakeholders, Round Tables with local stakeholders and workshops for producers to raise awareness and facilitate dialogue.

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