More than 50 fishers participated in their Fishers’ Assembly in Ranong on November 23, ratifying their constitution, and vowing to fight for justice for all fishers in the Ranong area.
Fishers at the Assembly unanimously called on the Thai Government to ratify the International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention 188 which protects fishers’ rights, and approved their list of demands.
The Fishers’ Rights Network demands:
- the elimination of debt bondage including passport, pink card, work permit, agent, broker or recruitment permit fees;
- an initial increase in the minimum wage to 12,000 THB (USD 375) per month;
- all fishers to be paid monthly, with bank book, ATM card and pin number in their possession (not retained by the owner or captain);
- all fishers should be provided with written contracts in their own language;
- every fisher should have access to basic first aid training and access to a comprehensive medical kit on board each vessel;
- every vessel should have an emergency medical procedure in place;
- a Vessel Code of Conduct should be in place for all vessels operating in Thai waters;
- the amendment of Thai Labour Law to allow migrant workers to form and be active in their union;
- the Thai Government ratify and effectively implement ILO Conventions 87, 98 and 188.
The Fishers Rights Network has developed a strong network of fishers working for justice in the south, east and western parts of Thailand. With organizing centers in Ranong, Songkhla and Trat, they are well-positioned to work with migrant fishers from Myanmar and Cambodia who are vulnerable to labor abuse and exploitation.