Ministerial Regulation No. 10, issued under the Provisions of the Labour Protection Act B.E. 2541 (A.D. 1998) and stipulating labour protection in respect to marine fishing in Thailand (Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, 1998)…
A Trafficking in Persons Donor Coordination Meeting was held on 25 November 2015 in Samut Sakhon province in Thailand, together with a field visit to meet with survivors of human trafficking. The meeting was hosted by the Norwegian Embassy, with the support of UN-ACT and the Labour Rights Promotion Network (LPN), an NGO based in Samut Sakhon. More than 20 representatives from Canada, Japan, EU, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the US joined the event given their interest and concerns on this issue.
Samut Sakhon has been heavily associated with human trafficking for labour exploitation since 2006 when significant and egregious cases of forced labour of Burmese migrants were uncovered in shrimp processing factories. LPN works to promote and protect workers rights and have responded to cases of abuse of workers and their families. Through advocacy and community networks, LPN has uncovered many cases of human trafficking and have collaborated with the Thai Government and other partners in their anti-trafficking responses.
Research conducted by Johns Hopkins University and LPN, supported by UN-ACT’s predecessor project, UNIAP (United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking), found that a third (33.6%) of Burmese migrants working in the shrimp processing factories had been trafficked at some point. Many of the Thai Government’s initiatives to combat human trafficking have subsequently focused on Samut Sakhon, particularly in regard to the fisheries sector. UN-ACT continues to provide support to LPN to directly combat human trafficking and provide assistance to trafficked persons.
LPN’s investigation of trafficking onto fishing boats in 2014-15 discovered large numbers of survivors stranded in Indonesia and led to large-scale returns to Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia in early 2015. During the Donor Coordination Meeting, donors were able to speak with some of the survivors who had returned to Thailand and wanted to advocate for more efforts to combat trafficking into the fisheries industry. The field visit enabled donors to hear first-hand accounts of trafficking and labour abuses in the region as well as discuss the frontline work in addressing these issues. The meeting discussed the conditions in the industry and ultimately what interventions were important to address the problem.
The Donor Coordination Group also visited a local school collaborating with LPN to provide education to migrant children. The collaboration seeks to overcome stigma against migrants and provide a channel for migrants to enter Thai schooling. It also works to reduce vulnerability to trafficking and child labour through education.
During the field visit, the donor representatives were also updated on UN-ACT’s work on anti-trafficking and its mainstreaming of gender issues, given that 25 November was also the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. In addition, in light of the recent endorsement of the ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking in Persons, a brief update and analysis was provided by USAID.
The visit to Samut Sakhon ensured that donors involved in anti-trafficking interventions at a regional level in Southeast Asia were able to coordinate their work and engage directly with those at the heart of their efforts.…
We have published the latest blog, ‘Money talks: Why compensation could be the best tool in the fight to combat forced labour’.
In this piece, Anna Olsen, Technical Officer with the ILO Triangle Project, reflects upon her recent experience attending a screening of men repatriated upon escaping forced labour on fishing boats. She discusses why compensation is key to those returning from abuse and exploitation and how the right thereto is established in international law, although its upholding often remains a distant dream.
You can access the blog by visiting our forum or clicking on this link.
What do you think about the blog? And what are your thoughts on the importance of compensation to the lives of those escaping forced labour?
We would be happy to hear from you! You can comment directly in response to our blog!…
Research on the experiences of 31 Cambodian men who migrated for work in the fishing industry through a legally registered recruitment agency in Cambodia – Giant Ocean – and ended up trafficked and exploited on fishing vessels off the coast of South Africa between 2010 and 2013 (NEXUS Institute & IOM, 2014)…
UN-ACT has published new research titled Migration experiences of Cambodian workers deported from Thailand in 2009, 2010 & 2012 under its publication series Human Trafficking Trends in Asia. The report can be downloaded by clicking on the above link or under tab ‘resources’, and then ‘research’.
The study draws on three datasets collected in 2009, 2010 and 2012, and thereby allows for the analysis of trends over time in the migration experiences of Cambodian workers deported from Thailand, including potential cases of human trafficking.
Some of the key findings include:
There is a lot more in the report, including an analysis of socio-economic factors and other variables going beyond migration and human trafficking, which may be of interest to readers. The report concludes with a number of concise recommendations for action to anti-trafficking stakeholders.
Enjoy reading the report and share widely!
Human trafficking constitutes one of the gravest forms of human rights abuses, whereby people are deceived or coerced into severe forms of exploitation.
Whilst prevalence and profits are difficult to quantify, the ILO in 2012 estimated that some 20.9 million people around the world are in conditions of forced labour, a form of exploitation closely related to human trafficking. A 2014 ILO research indicated that the related illegal profits are in excess of US$ 150 billion, making it one of the largest criminal industries in the world.
The Asia-Pacific region records an estimated 11.7 million people in conditions of forced labour, by far the highest figure of any region in the world. Within Asia-Pacific, the Greater-Mekong Sub-region (GMS: Cambodia, China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam) features some of the most extensive flows of migration, forced labour and human trafficking.
Whilst human trafficking is a phenomenon of global reach, it often occurs intra-regionally with different regions and sub-regions experiencing distinct patterns. In the GMS, such flows are characterized by a strong cross-border dimension due to factors such as cultural linkages, traditional migration trends, long and porous borders, significant imbalances in socio-economic development levels, and at times conflict.
Human trafficking in the GMS occurs for a wide range of purposes, including forced labour in the fishing and seafood industries, in manufacturing, agriculture, construction, domestic servitude or begging; as well as for sexual exploitation or forced marriage.
The strong cross-border dynamics of human trafficking patterns in the GMS require a coordinated, regional response to the crime. It is on this basis that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has developed the United Nations Action for Cooperation against Trafficking in Persons project, in short UN-ACT.
SIREN report comprising a fact sheet on the recruitment, trafficking and exploitation of Cambodian men onto Thai fishing boats, based on 49 cases of victims who escaped in Thailand or Malaysia and were assisted in their return home (UNIAP, 2009)…