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Due Diligence Assessment Strengthens Migrant Workers’ Rights in I.S.A. Value’s Supply Chain
Bangkok – As one of the largest and fastest growing sectors in Asia, the fishing and seafood processing sector is heavily reliant on migrant workers1. In Thailand, migrant workers account for two-thirds of seafood processing workers2.
Despite their contributions to socioeconomic development, migrant workers can be prone to an array of challenges, including human rights violations, abusive working conditions and high recruitment fees.
In response, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Thailand and I.S.A. Value Company Limited (I.S.A. Value) partnered to conduct a migrant-centred human rights due diligence assessment. I.S.A. Value is one of three facilities in Thailand under Sea Value Public Company, operating in seafood processing and food manufacturing in Europe and Thailand and employing roughly 2,000 Myanmar migrant workers in its facility.
The assessment aimed to gather insights on migrant workers’ recruitment and employment experiences – providing I.S.A. Value with practical recommendations to enhancing the protection of migrant workers. During the assessment, over 400 Myanmar migrant workers were interviewed, along with company management and a recruiter in Myanmar.
As a member of the Thai Tuna Industry Association (TTIA), I.S.A. Value has committed to comply with TTIA’s Ethical Labour Practice, a private code of conduct which aims to ensure adherence to responsible employment practices.
“This assessment allows us to improve our processes to better support migrant workers employed in our facility,” expressed a management representative of I.S.A. Value. “We will continue to strengthen our current practices, including ensuring migrants have a good understanding of working and living conditions in Thailand, raising awareness on sensitive topics, such as harassment, and creating safe spaces for discussion.”
The company further expressed intent to make migrant workers feel more comfortable using grievance boxes by placing them in more accessible locations, as well as encourage their participation in its Welfare Committee, a collective bargaining mechanism.
“The assessment was conducted at a crucial time following the 2022 resumption of the regular recruitment process of migrant workers from Myanmar. IOM is pleased to lend its technical expertise and work with Thai private sector partners towards reinforcing fair and ethical recruitment and responsible employment policies,” remarked Aleksandra Lasota, IOM Thailand’s Partnerships and Programme Coordinator, Labour Mobility and Social Inclusion.
This assessment marks the fifteenth multi-country migrant-centred human rights due diligence assessment conducted under IOM’s Migration, Business and Human Rights initiative in the Asia and Pacific region. IOM has collaborated with over 18 brands, suppliers and labour recruiters to help businesses respect migrant workers’ rights and provide them effective remedies.
1 Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture. 2020.
2 Reporting ASEAN. Thailand: Could a Cleaner Fishing Industry Set New Norms?