“The IUU Hunter unit will have around 100 officers who will actively investigate the fishing industry in 22 coastal provinces to ensure that their business operations are legal and free of forced labour or victims of human trafficking syndicates,” deputy national police chief Pol Lt-General Surachet Hakpal said on Monday.
“We will start with investigating over 10,000 commercial fishing boats that have registered with the Department of Fisheries and will get their licence during February and March. Interested entrepreneurs can contact the provincial fishery office or the PIPO fishery centre to get their trawlers investigated and ensure that they comply with related laws.”
Surachet added that the taskforce will help improve Thailand’s monitoring, control and surveillance capability against IUU fishing and human trafficking. “Thailand is aiming to become Asean leader in anti-IUU fishing as well as to improve our status on the US Trafficking in Persons Report, from the current Tier 2 Watchlist level to Tier 2 level,” he said.
Tier 2 Watchlist refers to countries whose governments do not fully comply with the US Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s minimum standards, but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards. To get to Tier 2 level, the country must not have a significant number of victims of severe forms of trafficking.
“The IUU Hunter unit will also be working with the Department of Fisheries, Marine Department and Department of Labour Protection and Welfare to investigate cases related to the missing 231 fishing labourers in the past two years,” said Surachet. “The unit will make sure that working conditions on fishing boats comply with the occupational health and safety standards.”
To report illegal fishing or human trafficking, call 1599 or visit www.humantrafficking.police.go.th, facebook.com/TICAC2016 or Line: @HUMANTRAFFICKTH
Published : February 15, 2022
By : THE NATION