CCCIF dismisses news reports of ”slave labor” at shrimp factory

The Command Center to Combat Illegal Fishing (CCCIF) has expressed appraisals for news agencies to have reported of the center’s constant missions against labor abuses. That has evidently helped reduce unlawful practices which might adversely affect Thai and foreign workers.

However, the center’s appraisals for the Thai media apparently followed November 9, 2015’s event in which some journalists of a foreign news agency had exaggerated news reports about its raid on a factory in Samut Sakorn province, alleging that Thailand had exploited a large number of ”slave laborers” to peel shrimp skins and that the Thai authorities were not aware of such abuse or took no legal action against it.

The headline of a news report of the foreign news agency reads: “Shrimps Peeled by Slaves” only to cause undue misunderstanding and prompting worldwide protests against Thai seafood industry. Such a news coverage was a severely irresponsible and imbalanced report which might probably create a negative, disparaging image of Thailand.

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Though many countries and international organizations were largely encouraging and helping Thailand overcome difficulties, plus the willingness and commitment of the Thai Government and people to prevent and suppress illegal labor and human trafficking, particularly in fishery sector, CCCIF was calling on all sectors to realize and understand the truths which actually occurred.

For instance, the event in which the authorities may find out any wrongdoing does not necessarily imply that Thailand may have supported labor abuses. On the contrary, the country has been getting rid of illegal workers and assuring fairness will be provided to all foreign workers in Thailand.

In the case of the labor inspection reported by the foreign news agency in question, that was conducted on November 9, 2015, by the center’s staff who found 42 legal workers while others were illegally hired at the shrimp factory, including 19 workers without work permit and 17 others aged under 18 years. Some labor-abusing suspects were detained as witnesses in lawsuits against the factory owner and the authorities already ordered the closure of the factory.

The foreign and Thai workers are to be taken care of and protected from abuses under the Labor Protection Act B.E.2541 (1998) while employers are legally obliged to pay the minimum wages under the Employment and Job Seekers Protection Act B.E.2528 (1985) and the Factory Act B.E.2535 (1992) which prohibits people aged under 18 years from being hired. The Thai Government and CCCIF emphatically enforce the laws on strict, continuous basis.

Information and Source

Reporter : Tarin Angskul Rewriter : tewit kemtong National News Bureau & Public Relations : http://thainews.prd.go.th

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