Thailand's human trafficking clampdown results in over 100 arrests

Over 100 people have been apprehended in Thailand as the result of the country’s clampdown on human trafficking spurred in part by the European Union’s proposed boycott of its fishing industry.

After being dealt a “yellow card” warning by the EU in April, a delegation from Brussels was sent to Thailand to assess the country’s progress with regards to putting a stop to labor abuses in its fishing industry; if the boycott and ban of Thai seafood exports were to come to fruition, it would cost the country USD 1 billion (EUR 700 million) annually, however, the delegation did not share when it would decide upon the boycott or otherwise.

To prevent expensive sanctions, Thai police have upped their efforts when it comes to labor abuses in the seafood sector. Following the issuance of the yellow card, more than 100 people have been arrested in relation to seafood human rights abuses and approximately 130 have been liberated from corrupt vessels and factories, reported the Telegraph.

"These cases show that Thailand has a strong political will to deal with the issue of human trafficking," deputy national police spokesman colonel Krisana Pattanacharoen told the Telegraph.

According to the Environmental Justice Foundation, which has been working alongside Thai authorities to address its fishing industry issues, notes that positive changes have come to pass as of late. Nevertheless, more progress is needed, said the NGO.

"A very simple benchmark for real progress will be when you start seeing senior Thai figures in courts going through a process of a successful prosecution for their role," the foundation's executive director Steven Trent told AFP.


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