MFA hits back at Human Rights Watch assessment of fisheries sector

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has voiced disagreement with an assessment made by Human Rights Watch that claims forced labor in the Thai fishing industry is still rampant.

Director-General of the Department of Information and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, spokesperson Bussadee Santipitak remarked that the government has for the past two years been diligent in combating problems in the fisheries sector and has issued a range of measures to protect its laborers. She said the state has worked with neighboring countries, private businesses and independent organizations to bring about positive developments in the industry.

Addressing the Human Rights Watch assessment, she noted that some data cited was dated back to 2012 and was likely to be no longer applicable to current conditions.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a statement expressing disappointment over the report. The 15 point statement says the report is lacking in evidence, shows political bias and fails to reference any of Thailand’s most recent efforts to defend the human rights of its fishing industry laborers.