February 11, 2014 00:00
By Thammarat Kijchalong
The Labour Ministry is compiling a report on the human-trafficking situation in Thailand in a bid to remove the country from a US watch list.
Deputy permanent secretary for labour ML Boontharik Samiti said the ministry had managed to get many immigrant workers in the fisheries sector to register with the authority.
Boontharik said the ministry had also got 178 business operators to join the Good Laboratory Practice scheme.
She said the report would cover Thailand’s measures to stop human trafficking and its progress in combating forced labour in the fisheries sector and child labour.
In the fisheries sector, she said measures to check the background of workers were clearer, stricter and more actively participated in by related agencies.
The ministry’s Department of Labour Protection and Welfare had allocated a budget to examine some 38,000 fisheries workers for signs of human trafficking.
Immigrant workers now had better access to registering their names, with 6,188 registered so far.
Of that number, 4,250 had already obtained the annual work permit.
Boontharik said the department would amend related laws such as changing the minimum age someone can work on boat from 16 to 18, as fisheries work would be declared hazardous for minors.
“The ministry has been trying to solve the issue of alien workers by signing a memorandum of understanding with Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia to bring in workers from these countries legally at a reduced commission-fee rate between 2010 and 2013, which we succeeded to do so with 312,737 workers,” she said.