Tuesday 21st February, 2017

Thai junta leader to fight forced labour in fish industry

Times Of India - Friday 27th March, 2015

BANGKOK: Thailand's junta leader has vowed to take legal action against companies using forced labor, after an Associated Press investigation revealed that fish caught by enslaved migrant workers was being exported from Thai ports to global markets. Speaking in an exclusive interview with the English-language Bangkok Post newspaper, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha acknowledged he had seen this week's AP article and said his government was stepping up efforts to combat the scourge and prosecute those responsible. "If they still continue to exploit their fellow human beings, they should not be given any licenses to operate businesses in Thailand, and they must receive the punishment they deserve," Prayuth said. The AP reported on Wednesday that men were held in a cage along with hundreds of people who are trapped on the remote Indonesian island village of Benjina, and tracked seafood they caught to Thai exporters who then sell to global markets, including America. The more than 40 men the AP interviewed on Benjina said they were brought to Indonesia from Thailand and put on trawlers with Thai captains who forced them to drink unclean water and work 20- to 22-hour shifts with no days off. Almost all of the men, who are from Myanmar, said they were kicked, whipped with toxic stingray tails or otherwise beaten if they complained or tried to rest. They were paid little or nothing. The investigation prompted the U.S. government and major business leaders to renew their calls on the...
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