[Thai] Govt urged to aid stranded Thai fishermen

More than 100 undocumented fishing-boat workers from Thailand and neighbouring countries remain stranded on remote Indonesian islands, according to the Labour Rights Promotion Network (LPN).

Labour activist and LPN manager Patima Tungpuchayakul said a recent rescue operation conducted by the LPN found at least 54 fishermen from Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos still abandoned on Tuan Island in Indonesia.

Of the 54 workers, eight are Thai, 44 are from Myanmar, one is Cambodian and one is Lao.

All of them are living under harsh conditions and want to return home as soon as possible, Ms Patima said on Tuesday.

Ms Patima was speaking at a press conference on the LPN’s latest attempts to rescue fishermen marooned on Indonesian islands.

The eight Thai nationals were identified as Satit Northong from Samut Prakan, Somchai Duangmuen from Samut Sakhon, Rat Uttapan from Si Sa Ket, Seree Champathong from Roi Et, Panya Nongnuch from Phetchabun, Paithoon Klinsakul from Suphan Buri, Vichien Sapprasert from Nakhon Ratchasima and Somyon (no surname given) from Nakhon Ratchasima.

Ms Patima said the fishermen are waiting for the Thai embassy to verify their identities, since their documents were kept by boat owners who abandoned them years ago when Indonesia cracked down on illegal fishing in its waters.

Over the past five years, LPN has urged state agencies to help bring back Thai workers from Tuan, Batam and Benjina islands in Indonesia, said Ms Patima.

Batam Island hosts more than 50 undocumented Thai, Myanmar and Cambodian workers, said the network.

“These people are living difficult lives, forced to move from one place to another because of their illegal migrant status,” she said, adding they have to do whatever job they can find to earn money to survive.

Many of these workers died due to harsh living conditions before they got the chance to return to their families, and were buried on the islands, Ms Patima said.

Ms Patima said even though the LPN has rescued nearly 3,000 Thai workers from Indonesia, it still receives distress calls from many fishing-fleet workers still stranded there.

“The government should come up with a clear policy on how it can help them,” she said.

Written by Penchan Charoensuthipan
Source: Bangkok Post
Published on 6 November 2019
Link: https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/1788034/govt-urged-to-aid-stranded-thai-fishermen

Back to Top