IOM, Ministry of Labour Co-host Consultations on New Ministerial Regulation Concerning the Protection of Workers in Fisheries in Thailand


Date Publish: 
Monday, September 21, 2020

Bangkok – Last week (17 September), International Organization for Migration (IOM), civil society representatives, UN agencies and embassies presented their perspectives and recommendations to the Royal Thai Government during the closed-door public hearing on the New Ministerial Regulation Concerning the Protection of Workers in Fisheries.

This follows up on 11 September joint meeting organized by IOM, Ministry of Labour (MOL), Migrant Working Group and Solidarity Center that facilitated  constructive dialogue between the Royal Thai Government and civil society on the New Ministerial Regulation Concerning the Protection of Workers in Fisheries prior to the 17 September public hearing.

Thailand is the fourth most significant seafood exporter globally, with the fishing and seafood sector employing over 600,000 workers, more than half of whom were registered migrant workers as of 2017.

The country has made considerable progress to improve employment standards in its seafood industry in recent years, including the ratification of the ILO’s Work in Fishing Convention (C188) in 2019, with Thailand being the first country in the Asia-Pacific to do so as well as the development of the national Labour Protection in Fisheries Act in the same year.

“While implementation of these Laws is ongoing, promoting their enforcement as well as business compliance with these new Regulations remains a major challenge,” said Sally Barber, Head of the Labour Migration and Human Development Unit, IOM.

To further strengthen legislation governing work in the seafood and fishing industries, in 2020, the Ministry of Labour has drafted the New Ministerial Regulation Concerning the Protection of Workers in Fisheries that complements the existing Labour Protection in Fisheries Act.

As a result of the 11 September meeting, civil society perspectives and recommendations were presented to the MOL and by the civil society representatives to the Royal Thai Government during the closed-door public hearing on the new Ministerial Regulation on 17 September.

Multi-stakeholder consultations are key to ensuring that the rights of migrants are protected by governments and respected by businesses, especially as the world is defining the “new normal” during the COVID-19 pandemic. This consultative meeting demonstrates the continued commitment of the Royal Thai Government to improving the protection of all migrant fishers, through multi-stakeholder dialogue.

IOM sees migration as an opportunity that benefits all, and is honoured to support the Royal Thai Government and civil society in ensuring that the New Ministerial Regulation promotes safe, orderly, and regular migration for all.

This meeting was possible thanks to Jarunchai Korsripitakkul, Inspector-General at the Department of Labour Protection and Welfare, distinguished guests from the Department of Labour Protection and Welfare and the Department of Employment, from the Ministry of Labour as well as civil society representatives. The event was generously supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.  

These advocacy efforts are part of IOM Corporate Responsibility in Eliminating Slavery and Trafficking (CREST) initiative, which is a regional partnership that aims to realize the potential of business to uphold the human and labour rights of migrant workers in their operations and supply chains.

For more information, please contact IOM at [email protected]