Thailand ready to ratify fishing convention

The initiative ais to improve Thailand’s fisheries sector and fisheries products. (Image source: Tim Ellis/Flickr)

The National Legislative Assembly of Thailand has approved the Ministry of Labour’s proposal to proceed with the ratification of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Work in Fishing Convention 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 in Thailand, informed that the ministry has conducted several rounds of consultations with all stakeholders including employers, employees, representatives of civil societies, members of the academic and other relevant government agencies.

The Ministry has also drafted the Work in Fishing Act, 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 C188 is set to ensure decent work for fishing workers such as setting the maximum working hours, ensuring the 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 into the fisheries sector, thus alleviating the shortage of labour in this sector. 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 per cent of the provisions of the Convention.

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