Thailand has issued a serious crackdown on trafficking in the seafood industry, resulting in over 100 arrests of people suspected of labor abuses and trafficking, and in the release of approximately 130 presumed victims in vessels and factories. These results are the efforts of a task force that had been set up to investigate 36 cases–more than double the efforts of the previous year which saw the investigation of 15 cases.
News analysis links this crackdown to Thailand receiving a “yellow card” from the EU last year threatening to ban all seafood exports from Thailand to the EU unless the government seriously tackled abuses within the industry. Such a ban would be an enormous financial blow as Thailand is the world’s third largest exporter of seafood and, as about 15% of Thailand’s exports go to the EU, it is estimated that the boycott would cost Thailand $1 billion annually.
Government officials assert that this crackdown is evidence of Thailand’s political will to eradicate the problem of human trafficking.
The New York Times, Thai Authorities Say Fishing Industry Crackdown Intensified
Channel News Asia, Thailand Says 100 Held in Trafficking Blitz on Seafood Industry
The Telegraph, Thailand Arrests 100 in Seafood Industry Crackdown
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