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“Pol.Gen. Adul” Submits Ratification of C188 to ILO with Intent to Protect Fishing Workers at International Standards

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               The Labour Minister submitted for ratification of ILO Convention 188 on Working in Fishing with ILO Director-General Mr. Guy Ryder. The gesture expressed the Thai government’s intention to raise standards on protection of both Thai and foreign workers onboard fishing vessels to meet international standards.



             On January 30, 2019, at 21.00 hours (time in Thailand), Labour Minister H.E. Police General Adul Sangsingkeo, Thai Ambassador and Permanent Representative in Geneva H.E. Mr. Sek Wannamethee, Permanent Secretary of Labour Mr. Jarin Chakkaphark and committee submitted the ratification of ILO Convention 188 on Working in Fishing 2007, with ILO Director-General Mr. Guy Ryder, who welcomed and accepted the ratification. The meeting took place at the Cabinet’s room, Office of International Labour Affairs, Geneva, Switzerland.
The Labour Minister spoke about the Thai government’s intention to ratify C188. He said that the Ministry of Labour had listened to comments from all stakeholders, including employers, employees, the public, the academic sectors and government agencies involved, which mostly agreed that the ratification would benefit both workers and employers, and the reputation of the Thai fishing sector and fishery products.
             Pol.Gen. Adul said that ratification of the convention represented Thailand’s intention to improve the standard on the protection of both Thai and foreign workers onboard fishing vessels to meet international standards and prevent the risk that workers fall into slavery. This is because the convention will help to ensure the valuable working conditions for workers in fishing, such as the determination of working hours, quality of accommodation, food and drinking water, medical treatment, labour inspection systems and living on fishing boats for example. The improvements would help promote ethical and good fishing practices and attract more workers into the fishing sector, which would help solve labour shortages in the industry. As for the release from the yellow card status, the Thai government has pushed to enhance the level of labour protection in the fishing sector, coupled with the ongoing measures to resolve IUU for Thailand to incorporate sustainable fishing practices, which is the government’s ultimate goal. There have been several measures including fishing regulations in the last 3-4 years, especially ratification of the C029 on forced labour and C188 on work in fishing, which will result in more effective legal and enforcement measures, believed to be a factor that promoted Thailand in the Trafficking in Persons report from the Tier 2 Watch List to Tier 2 last year. On January 8, 2019, the European Union announced Thailand’s release from yellow status in the fishing sector, which reflects the acceptance of Thailand’s progress on resolving IUU fishing, which has been continuously developed since Thailand received the yellow card status in 2015; it has since been successful in raising the whole Thai fishing industry’s standards to the level of acceptance by the European Union. Thailand currently has the most active illegal fishing tackling mechanism in the region which can be a good model for countries facing the same issues.
             ILO Director-General Mr. Guy Ryder gave a summary on Thailand’s submission to ratify ILO Convention 188. He thanked and expressed great pleasure that Thailand ratified the convention, an indicator of the importance on the protection of fishery workers. He said that the ILO was ready to work with the Thai government that has shown strength in the protection of workers in fishing, which put Thailand in the spotlight for international recognition. The ILO invited Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-ocha to the 108th ILC meeting in June 2019, in Geneva, also on the occasion of the ILO’s 100th anniversary. Furthermore, the ILO has fully supported Thailand in fulfilling actions as Thailand’s chairmanship of ASEAN in this as well.
             Pol.Gen. Adul spoke about Thailand’s preparation to amend various laws to support C188. Thailand is currently aligned with 11 internal laws, whereas unaligned laws are still in the process of revision and are expected to be complete within a year, following the context of fishing in Thailand.


Division of Public Relations/
News by Chaninthorn Phettab/
Information & photos by Bureau of International Cooperation/
30 January 2019/