Connect with us


Opinion: Human rights

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: The plan by Rawai Mayor Aroon Solos to ban migrant workers from keeping dogs is unlikely to have much of an effect on dog populations in the area; the scheme not only fails to address the main cause of the problem, but also shifts the blame to the most convenient scapegoat.

Predictably, news of the proposed ban has set off debate in social media. Strangely, however, the debate has focused more on animal rights issues than human rights – in this case, the right (or lack thereof) of migrant workers to keep dogs.

It goes without saying that the majority of people who live in these alleged canine-incubation colonies are migrant workers from Myanmar. Many are laborers with no other alternative than to toil at dangerous, difficult jobs that the average Thai or foreigner would never consider.

Given their tenuous legal standing and subsequent lack of human rights, these workers have long served as scapegoats for politicians, malevolent policemen and other ill-intentioned civil servants, all of whom are well tuned in to the whispered yet widespread anti-Burmese discrimination that lurks just beneath the surface in Thailand.

Try to consider the issue through the eyes of the victims. While some local residents dismiss these camps as slums, they are home to their residents, the Burmese workers. As the place where all of their valuables are stored, they need to be protected – and not just from theft.

Such camps have been the sites of many crimes over the years, such as murder, arson, rape and even attempts at extortion by vile thugs posing as state officers. For the women and children left behind during the work day, keeping a pack of loyal dogs is the best security investment they can make.

While it is inevitable that some dogs will get left behind when the workers migrate to a new location, we doubt that this is a major contributing factor to the Rawai canine problem. After all, the vast majority of the stray dogs in Phuket were already here before the Burmese even arrived in their camps.

A much more important factor is the failure of local pet owners to take responsibility by sterilizing their animals.

To his credit, the mayor of Rawai is studying the legal issues of a dog ban in the camps before ordering any action. We hope he will reconsider and come up with an alternative strategy that will allow these workers to keep their pets.

Fortunately, Rawai is home to one of the best-known and well-funded animal rights groups on the island, the Soi Dog Foundation. We hope the local mayor will continue to work together with the Soi Dog people, as well as other groups and agencies, to allow more volunteers into the camps to provide free sterilizations.


Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand2 hours ago

Thailand News Today | AoT warns about tourist exuberance, easing of restrictions | June 22

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

CCSA: Bars to stay closed for now, drunk customers risk the spread of Covid-19

Bangkok3 hours ago

Woman dies after jumping from Phra Khanong BTS station in Bangkok

Phuket Sandbox July 1st


Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

263 covid cases linked to canned seafood factory in Songkhla

Drugs4 hours ago

Narcotics Control Board announce recent drug busts, heroin and cocaine sent by mail

Environment4 hours ago

3 Cambodian activists arrested for plotting against the government/insulting the king after documenting waste run-off

Chiang Mai5 hours ago

Chiang Mai eases restrictions, alcohol now allowed at restaurants

Thailand5 hours ago

Angry ex allegedly sets motorcycle on fire in school parking garage

Cambodia5 hours ago

6 arrested in Cambodia for allegedly trafficking people into Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 hours ago

Tuesday Covid Update: 4,059 new cases; provincial totals

Thailand6 hours ago

Power outages coming to Kathu

Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 hours ago

Samut Sakhon governor calls for more vaccine doses after order was cut

Thailand7 hours ago

Fruit buyer arrested for allegedly using counterfeit certificates to export durian

Tourism8 hours ago

Airports of Thailand president says tourism won’t pick back up until October

Thailand9 hours ago

Mobile sterilisation/vaccination truck helps Pattaya’s cats and dogs

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8