(Information Source: Undercurrent News, on Wed Apr. 10, 2019 09:28 BST)
Thai fishermen sorting days's catch at Samae San port, Thailand. Fishing is a key occupation and income source on the island. Credit: jack_photo/Shutterstock.com
Thailand will use a newly amended law to crack down on forced labor with hefty fines and prison time, a move analysts said could help curb exploitative practices against migrant workers, reports Reuters.
The Southeast Asian nation, which has come under scrutiny for slavery and trafficking in its seafood industry, has added “forced labor or service” as an offense in its anti-human trafficking law.
Anyone found guilty can be jailed for four years and fined THB 400,000 ($12,516), with more severe penalties if a victim is harmed.
“It shows the serious intent of the Thai government in tackling forced labor and improving the image of the country,” said Puttanee Kangkun, a human rights specialist with advocacy group Fortify Rights in Bangkok.
“It spells out the conditions, and the penalties are quite strict. But we have to see how effective the implementation is."