Migrant workers’ children ‘lack education, welfare’

While 42 seafood processing companies have joined a campaign to ensure fair wages, a lack of rights to access basic education for 200,000 children living with migrant workers, including the fishery sector, is still a big problem, according to Plan International Thailand.

Under close association with its partners, including the Labour Rights Promotion Network (LPN) Foundation and partners from Sweden and Finland, the “Seas of Change” event held yesterday saw commitments from 42 seafood processing companies in Thailand to provide welfare for workers in the industry.

Plan International Thailand programme director Yupaporn Boontid said the project was aimed at promoting a fishery industry free from child labour and providing fair wages to migrant workers.

The project, under the concept of “Net to Napkin”, reflects a supply change in the seafood business.

It is also aimed at lifting living conditions and paving the way for children of migrants to go to school in communities.

According to reports there are 3.9 million migrant workers in Thailand; 302,000 are in the fishery sector.

About 36% of them are unable to access health and insurance while 200,000 children are unable to go to school.

“We do hope that the government will understand the problem and offer a scheme to give access to basic education [for the children of migrant workers],” Ms Yupaporn said.

LPN executive director Sompong Srakaew said while strong efforts from the government to tackle illegal labour and illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing had improved the situation, the problem still remained.

The project is a good model with support from the business sector, which finally will get benefits from stopping human rights violations.

Wichan Jantravisut, in charge of the export and business development department of the Rayong Fish Sauce Industry Company, said the company agreed to the project because it wants to see a better life for those workers and help stop the human trafficking scourge.

In a separate development, the National Fisheries Association of Thailand said it expects requests by marine fisheries to relax regulations imposed on the industry will be well-accepted by the new government.

Written by Apinya Wipatayotin
Source: Bangkok Times
Published on 1 July 2019
Link: https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/1704412/migrant-workers-children-lack-education-welfare#cxrecs_s

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