Thai government vows not to send prisoners to fishing vessels
Thailand’s foreign ministry has confirmed in a statement that the Thai government will abandon a pilot program designed to put prisoners to work aboard Thai fishing vessels.
The decision followed the government receiving a letter from 45 different human rights groups, all protesting the program. The Thai fishing industry has come under fire for some time over allegations of human trafficking and
The government statement did not mention the
“After having sought comments from the private sector in the fishery industry, the mooted idea to let prisoners work on fishing vessels has not been and will not be implemented,” the government said in its statement, despite reports by the BBC that as many as 170 prisoners were already working on fishing boats under the program.
In the statement, the government also defended the program, saying it was intended to be a way for reformed criminals to work toward reintegration into society.
Despite the government’s denials, at least one
“We’re glad to see the Thai government is making the right decision in this case,” said Judy Gearhart, the forum’s executive director. “It is time for the Thai government to recognize that its treatment of migrant workers lies at the heart of the problem and take real, meaningful steps to ensure all workers within its borders work in dignified, just conditions.”