Embassy & Consulate News : Thailand ready to ratify ILO’s Work in Fishing Convention (C188) news3

Embassy & Consulate News : Thailand ready to ratify ILO’s Work in Fishing Convention (C188)

          On 29 November 2018, the National Legislative Assembly of Thailand has approved the Ministry of Labour’s proposal to proceed with the ratification of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Work in Fishing Convention No. 188, 2007 (C188). Thailand aims to deposit the instrument of ratification for C188 by January 2019, becoming the first ASEAN member state as well as the first state in Asia to ratify the Convention.

          Police General Adul Sangsingkeo, Minister of Labour, stated to the press that, prior to yesterday, the Ministry of Labour has conducted several rounds of consultations with all stakeholders, including employers, employees, representatives of civil societies, members of the academia, and other relevant government agencies. The Ministry has also drafted the Work in Fishing Act, B.E. …. which has fully incorporated views from all stakeholders taken from six rounds of public hearing, where most participants agreed that the ratification of the Convention will be beneficial to both employers and employees, as well as improving the image of Thailand’s fisheries sector and fisheries products

          The ratification of the Convention will elevate the standard of labour protection on board fishing vessels to be in line with the international standard. It will also reduce the risk of labour falling into the forced labour situations. This is attributed to the fact that the C188 will ensure the decent work for fishing workers, including among others, setting the maximum working hours, ensuring quality of accommodation, food, drinking water and medical care, as well as carrying out inspections of working and living conditions on board the vessels. These measures will attract more workers to enter the fisheries sector, thus alleviating the shortage of labour in this sector.

          The Minister of Labour informed that C188 will apply only to commercial fishing vessels weighing at least 30 gross tonnes and above,which account for approximately 5,000 vessels and 30,000 workers. It will not affect the artisanal fishing vessels, of which there are around 26,000 vessels. It is anticipated that the legal enforcement will commence by mid- 2019. At present, Thailand’s existing regulations of various agencies are already compatible with 80 percent of the provisions of the Convention.

           Thailand is fully committed to raising the standard of labour protection, for both Thai and migrant workers, to be in line with the international standard in order to promote ethical fishing alongside good governance. The Royal Thai Government has continuously been making efforts in this matter, in parallel with combatting the illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, with a view to ensuring Thailand’s sustainable fisheries which is the ultimate goal of this government.