Thais told to sign pact on fisher rights

Thais told to sign pact on fisher rights

The Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) has urged Thailand to ratify the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) 2007 Work in Fishing Convention, also known as C188, to protect fishermen’s rights.

Steve Trent, co-founder and executive director of the UK-based non-profit, met Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon yesterday to discuss issues relating to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, Defence Ministry spokesman Khongcheep Tantrawanich said.

Mr Trent praised Thai agencies for making steady progress in tackling illegal fishing, and managing and monitoring fishing boats over the last two years.

He also hoped Thailand would take advantage of its Asean chairmanship next year to lead regional efforts to tackle the problem, Lt Gen Khongcheep said.

He said if Thailand became a ratified party it would boost efforts to tackle illegal fishing and combat human rights abuses in the region’s fishing sector, the spokesman said.

Mr Trent also said the EJF was ready to cooperate with the Thai government on this, he added.

Gen Prawit reaffirmed the government’s commitment to this and said Thailand is treating the matter ratification with the utmost gravity.

But it must first gather the opinions of various stakeholders as ratification would require the support of all sectors, Gen Prawit reportedly said. C188 was adopted in 2007.

It was aimed at ensuring fishermen enjoy fair working conditions at sea with a special focus on what the lowest acceptable conditions were.

Other goals include acceptable conditions of service; decent quality accommodation and food; occupational safety and health protection; and medical care and social security. This applies to all crew members and vessels in commercial fishing operations.

Thai trade groups claim the convention is impractical and expensive.

 

Written by WASSANA NANUAM
Source: Bangkok Post

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