BANGKOK – The Thai Minister of Labour said on Thursday that the military junta ruling the country has made efforts toward ending abuses against people working in Thailand’s fishing industry.
Adul Saengsiew Kaew, a police officer by profession with the rank of General, made the claims in response to Human Rights Watch’s criticisms of the work conditions and the human trafficking rampant in the southeast Asian country’s fishing industry.
Adul told a group of international correspondents that the government had taken several measures to protect the undocumented migrants working in the fishing sector.
“New laws have been passed, and we have initiated industry inspections, Adul said.
The minister added that he was confident of the process of legalizing 800,000 undocumented immigrants – most of whom come from Myanmar and Cambodia, and mainly work in the fishing sector – would be concluded in June.
He added that the government was coordinating its efforts with international bodies such as the European Union.
In a report presented in January at the European Parliament, HRW criticized the measures taken by Thailand to contain the situation, considering them to be ineffective and often prioritizing form over results.
In the report, HRW urged the EU and the United States to put greater pressure on the Asian country to end the abuse suffered by the immigrants, who are forced to work without the protection of the country’s labor laws.
Thailand has been ruled by a military junta since a 2014 coup.