Thailand is the fourth-largest exporter of seafood globally. For over a decade, labour abuse, particularly of migrant workers from Myanmar, Cambodia, and Lao PDR, has been widely documented within the Thai seafood industry.
Media exposés linking forced labour and trafficking in persons on Thai fishing vessels with shrimp and pet food sold to Western consumers, and the threat of European Union (EU) trade sanctions, spurred responses from the Royal Thai Government (RTG) and the private sector (involving both Thai suppliers and international buyers). This report examines how seafood buyers (retailers and multinational brands) have responded to the human rights abuses highlighted. It identifies prominent private sector actions taken to address labour abuse, areas of good practice, remaining gaps, and ongoing issues impeding decent work at the base of seafood supply chains.
A follow-up to a 2016 report assessing the Thai seafood industry’s response to forced labour and human trafficking, this report provides an update on progress made and gaps that still remain. The findings in this report are based on 49 interviews with representatives from the private sector, civil society organisations (CSOs), and the RTG, a review of the policies and publications of 28 seafood companies and retailers, and focus group discussions, surveys, and interviews with 280 Myanmar and Cambodian workers involved in seafood capture and production. Some of the key findings are outlined within the report.