Tuesday, October 15, 2019

HRW report on fishing exposes toothless Thai rights watchdog 

Jan 24. 2018
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Re: “HRW report finds forced labour, rights abuses of migrant workers still widespread in Thai fishing fleets”, The Nation, yesterday.

Sad that the Thailand National Human Rights Commission couldn’t have released such a report.

But then the TNHRC has no credibility with the UN Human Rights Council and is bound under the 2017 Constitution to only report those events and conditions that do not adversely affect the nation’s (to paraphrase) reputation. The TNHRC is thus effectively neutered as a Constitutional organisation (previously called an “Independent Organisation” in the 2007 Constitution). 

According to the HRW report, the Thai government has failed on preventing “forced [illegal immigrant?] labour and rights abuses that are still widespread in the Kingdom’s fishing fleets”.

This is not acceptable under the EU’s regulations against illegal, unreported and unregulated IUU fishing. Such failure might be reviewed in Thailand’s next US ranking. But being a human rights issue, such flaws might not be critical to the Trump administration.



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