Crackdown on human trafficking, slave fishing fleet


– Thailand news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Crackdown on human trafficking, slave fishing fleet
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Thailand is cracking down on human trafficking in the fisheries industry under a 180-day international protocol, Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan said yesterday.

He said illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, dubbed pirate fishing, was on a watchlist and Thai authorities have a 180-day deadline to suppress it.

He said it was not new that Thailand was monitored on the US-regulated Trafficking In Persons Report for 10 years and was last year downgraded to the report’s lowest tier.

Separately, police are pushing ahead with a plan to register the DNA records of beggars and homeless people based in Bangkok, in an attempt to combat human trafficking which has resulted in scores of these people being enslaved and abused.

A police meeting was held yesterday to discuss the issue and work out follow-up measures to fight human trafficking and better cope with issues surrounding beggars and homeless people. Police said the measure would initially be implemented in Bangkok before going nationwide.

Human rights activists have questioned the ethics of collecting DNA samples from people unwilling to give it.

Meanwhile, women’s rights group the Empower Foundation said that suppressing human trafficking would require measures that would protect victims and provided them with basic rights after the arrest or conviction of human traffickers.

Empower director Janthawipa Apisuk said that officials responsible for crackdowns on human trafficking should be further educated on relevant laws to prevent them from abusing the victims unwittingly.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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