Good Labour Practices (GLP)
Guidelines in Thailand’s seafood industry
Good Labour Practices (GLP) Guidelines in Thailand’s seafood industry
Over the past few years, we have witnessed changes in the Thai and global seascapes for work in commercial fishing. These changes includes: new Thai law and enforcement regimes for work in fishing and seafood; the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (P 29) and the Work in Fishing Convention (C 188); higher forced labour standards for US and UK importers; closer scrutiny of Thai agro-industry from global buyers; and “yellow cards” from the European Union (EU) for illegal and unregulated fishing in South-East Asia.
Through the EU-funded ILO Ship to Shore Rights Project, the ILO, the Royal Thai Government, participating industry associations, trade unions, and civil society organizations have worked on a revision and expansion of the 2012 Good Labour Practices (GLP) with regard to workplace labour standards in the Thai shrimp-peeling industry under the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC). These updated GLP Guidelines respond to urgent changes in the Thai and global seafood industries, which are increasingly putting a focus on industry association-led GLP programmes.
The Guidelines help seafood industry associations identify and end unacceptable forms of work – such as child labour, forced labour, workplace discrimination, and sub-standard working conditions – via higher standards and by imparting the lessons we have learned together about what works best. The ILO will continue to urge ratification by the Thai government of two conventions that aim to advance the fundamental rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining (C 87 and C 98). The Guidelines updated GLP for both factory management industry associations commit to building effective labour standards programmes and to improving working conditions in the seafood industry. They include updated GLP workplace standards and principles, and new tools for factory managers and industry association leaders to identify potential labour risks in their supply chains, strengthen assessments of their labour practices, and act to fix and prevent problems.
The Ship to Shore Rights Project supports these industry programmes directly and through the establishment of a tripartite GLP Advisory Committee to provide oversight of the programmes. With cooperation of fishing industry associations, we hope to extend these programmes up and down the Thai seafood supply chain. This guidelines is a big step forward for these programmes, and we encourage active use of these GLP Guidelines by industry association leaders as they build labour programmes, factory management, and workers and their organizations.
The ILO wishes to recognize the financial support provided by the European Union to this programme.
Graeme Buckley, Director
ILO Decent Work Technical Support Team for East and South-East Asia and the Pacific and Country Office for Thailand, Cambodia and Lao People’s Democratic Republic