Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Thais defend record on fishing vessel abuses

Thais defend record on fishing vessel abuses

Migrant workers unload fish from a docked boat at a port in Mahachai, on the outskirts of Bangkok last year. AFP
Migrant workers unload fish from a docked boat at a port in Mahachai, on the outskirts of Bangkok last year. AFP

Thais defend record on fishing vessel abuses

A month after the Cambodian Human Rights Committee sent a request to its Thai counterpart asking it to implement safety measures to protect Cambodians working in often slave-like conditions on Thai boats, the committee yesterday received a response claiming Thai authorities had long ago taken sufficient action.

In its letter, the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand defended the Thai government’s work, pointing to the ongoing registration of undocumented migrant workers, the establishment of a council dealing with human trafficking and a list of recommendations made to the Thai government last year.

However, the ongoing rampant abuses on Thai boats contradicted the body’s claims, said Dy Thehoya, program officer with labour rights group Central. “I think the Thai government just wanted to shore up its good image with the international community, that it really takes serious measures against perpetrators of fishing boat slavery,” he said. “In fact, it’s just in writing – no clear mechanism and strong commitment.”

Keo Remy, president of the Cambodian Human Rights Committee, didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of Human Rights Watch, said the Thai human rights commission has “been really a bit player in the larger policy discussions about abuses of Cambodian fishers Thai boats, which is unfortunate”.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM: All 10 Asean countries to receive Rainsy arrest warrants

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Thursday that all 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) member states will receive warrants for the arrest of Sam Rainsy. The warrants have already been sent to Laos and Thailand. He was speaking at a joint press conference at

  • Human rights report biased, says Cambodia

    Cambodia has accused the 42nd session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland on Wednesday of having “undermined the principle of objectivity”. In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Cambodia to the UN said the Office of the

  • Kingdom okays 2,400MW power purchase from Laos

    A cabinet meeting on Wednesday decided that the government will purchase 2,400MW of electricity from Laos. A briefing document uploaded by government spokesman Phay Siphan to his Facebook page confirmed this. It said Cambodia will buy exclusive power from two coal-fired power plants in Laos –

  • The need to establish research universities in Cambodia

    In an era of the globalisation and internationalisation of higher education, it is difficult, if not impossible, to disregard the regional and global trend toward building world-class universities. Many governments in Asia and Africa are making significant efforts to establish research-intensive universities to catch up