The Labour Minister reported that the Department of Employment had allocated funds for foreign worker management in the 2021 fiscal year, following the Human Trafficking Project in Fisheries from January to September 2021. The project will hire an interpreter/language coordinator to work at the Fisheries Coordination Center in 20 provinces.
Labour Minister Mr. Suchart Chomklin said that the government under the leadership of Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha and the Ministry of Labour under the supervision of Deputy Prime Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan gives great importance to human trafficking in fisheries. There have consistently been efforts to resolve the problem of human trafficking to the extent that the country was upgraded to Tier 2 for the third consecutive year, up the Tier 2 Watch list in 2017.
“The Ministry of Labour implements government policy in creating a good reputation in global trade, which positively affects the exports from Thailand. Through the systematic management of foreign workers in fishing activities, it does this to reduce the problem of human trafficking in fisheries and promote appropriate working conditions. The measure ensures that workers are paid and protected by the law and creates working standards following international standards. It aims to alleviate troubles among business operators in terms of labour shortages, to raise Thailand to Tier 1 in 2021,” said the Labour Minister.
The Department of Employment’s Director-General Mr. Suchart Pornchaiwisetkun, said that the Department of Employment’s goal is to hire 20 interpreters/language coordinators to communicate and work with staff at the Fisheries Coordination Center. The employment period is nine months, divided into nine interpreters (Thai), working at the Fisheries Coordination Centers in 9 provinces, namely Rayong, Trat, Songkhla, Ranong, Samut Prakan, Chanthaburi, Petchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan and Nakhon Si Thammarat, and 11 language coordinators (foreigners) working at the Fisheries Coordination Center in 11 provinces, namely Samutsakorn, Satun, Chachoengsao, Krabi, Trang, Narathiwat, Chumphon, Chonburi, Samut Songkhram, Phang Nga and Pattani.
Mr. Suchart continued that the Department of Employment is the main agency for managing the work of foreigners following the law, considering national security and occupational and professional opportunities for Thai people. Thailand’s fishing industry has always had a labour shortage problem because it is a job that is not popular among Thai people. Thai workers generally do not want to do three types of work called 3D work: difficult work, dirty work, and dangerous work. For example, work in construction, agriculture, livestock, mills, ice mills, mines, underwater work, and fisheries. Thus, it is necessary to hire foreign workers instead. The foreign workers mostly use their native language. Therefore, language coordinators/interpreters play an important role in supporting the staff’s performance in communicating to foreign workers to understand, get advice, provide training, clarify the application for work permits, disseminate information and government services, including screening interviews for potential cases of human trafficking. All this is to allow foreigners to work properly, have wages, and appropriate working conditions, being protected by the law.
In the past fiscal year 2020 (October 2019 – September 2020), 34,914 work permits were issued, 3,810 employers/employees were trained, 85,108 people received advice, and 26,201 reported for work.
Source: Ministry of Labour