Thailand needs neighbors’ help to crack down on slavery at sea: activist

Thailand’s crackdown on exploitation and slavery in its multi-billion dollar fishing industry will only succeed if its neighbours step up and adopt anti-trafficking laws, said a labour rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee.

Thai fishing vessels are increasingly registering in nearby countries to avoid scrutiny of their treatment of migrant workers as Thailand boosts its laws on human trafficking, said local campaigner Patima Tungpuchayakul.

Unlike Thai boats, foreign vessels are not required to undergo checks by officials when they enter or leave ports in Thailand, said the activist, who featured in a 2018 documentary ‘Ghost Fleet’ about workers trapped in slavery in the industry.

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Nanchanok Wongsamuth