The Global Aquaculture Alliance commends Thailand for taking additional steps to prevent labor abuse in seafood supply chain.
The Royal Thai Embassy in Washington, D.C., announced on Feb. 1 that progress has been made recently, zeroing in on three accomplishments:
1) Thailand’s Ministry of Labor Regulation’s prohibition on persons under 18 years old working in seafood processing plants went into effect on Jan. 14.
2) The Cabinet of Thailand on Dec. 29 approved the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives Regulation on the Safety, Hygiene and Well-Being of Seaman, intending to improve working conditions aboard fishing vessels.
3) A coalition of private Thai institutions on Jan. 15 signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Thailand’s Command Center for Combating Illegal Fishing and 11 other government agencies to eliminate forced labor, human trafficking and illegal fishing in the seafood supply chain.
GAA recognizes that the prevention of labor abuse in seafood supply chain, in Thailand and worldwide, can only be accomplished with the cooperation of all stakeholders — industry, the marketplace, government and non-governmental players promoting labor rights. Third-party certification programs like the Best Aquaculture Practices are a key component of the solution.
On Dec. 15, the BAP third-party certification program took a stand against labor abuse in the shrimp supply chain by prohibiting BAP-certified processing plants from outsourcing the processing of shrimp to third-party entities, effective Jan. 1.