The Human Rights and Development Foundation, with support of the EU-funded programme Ship to Shore Rights South East Asia, organized a two-day workshop on 27-28 June with a particular focus on retaining the identity documents of migrant workers, including migrant fishers. Over 70 participants representing the Provincial Department of Employment and civil society organizations addressed the issues of withholding of passports or identity document of migrant workers and exchanged experiences in streamlining government practices in respond to forced labour condition in fishing sector. Although retaining the identity documents of migrant workers does not, of itself, constitute forced labour, it can lead to restriction of their freedom of movement and consequently increases their risks of becoming victim of forced labour. The workshop improved the understanding and knowledge gap of the participants on workers’ document retention and reinforced the need for all participants to support strengthened labour inspections and improve the system responding to forced labour issue in Thailand’s fishing industry.
In a dynamic discussion on 30 August 2023, the seafood processing industry and workers’ representatives as well as civil society organizations (CSOs) came together to