A deputy prime minister is optimistic that the European Union won’t accept the new Human Rights Watch report on Thailand’s fishing industry without taking into consideration information from the Thai government.
Deputy Prime Minister Gen. Chatchai Sarikanlaya said on Wednesday that the Fisheries Department and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have already provided Thailand’s official information to the European Union after the Human Rights Watch released its latest report at a briefing at the European Parliament on Tuesday.
Gen. Chatchai believes that the EU will give more weight to information from Thailand because the bloc views the issue of illegal fishing activities separately from the problem of forced labor.
“Despite several years of highly publicized efforts to address problems in the Thai fishing industry, the Thai government has not taken the steps necessary to end forced labor and other serious abuses on fishing boats,” said the Human Rights Watch in its new report.
However, the DPM said that Thailand has been doing its best and tackling such problems effectively while noting substantial progress to date.
Gen. Chatchai added that related agencies have already been urged to wrap up their operations to address all problems by the end of March.