Joseph Lee Moderator • over 3 years ago
Problem Statement 15-5: "Monitor fishing vessels' working conditions, in Thailand, including abuse and forced labor"
An estimated 650,000 migrant laborers work in the Thai seafood sector, 200,000 of whom are at sea, at risk of labor abuses that are among the worst in the world. Thailand’s thriving seafood industry is organized to meet external demand for cheap, abundant shrimp and seafood, but much of it is based on the exploitation of vulnerable migrant workers recruited from poorer neighboring countries. In Thailand, even small-scale fishers are more often turning to migrant labor as well. Meanwhile, overfishing and transshipment enable an illegal, unaccountable industry to continue to squeeze costs, exploit migrant labor, and draw down environmental resources.
Monitoring the conditions of workers on fishing vessels is an ongoing challenge for both private and public entities seeking to address issues of forced labor. There are currently not systems available for assessing the validity of crew lists in port and at sea; monitoring working hours and living conditions; ensuring commitment to equitable payroll systems that do not lead to debt bondage; or conducting worker interviews/pulsing for formal/informal social auditing; etc. Furthermore, there are not systems to connect labor data to the data management systems currently in place for other purposes. Without key data, it is difficult to hold vessels, owners, or their buyers accountable for responsible practices. How might new technologies be developed, or existing ones be modified, to help to capture information about human rights conditions of workers on vessels?
This could conceivably be a challenge that hardware, software, or IoT could help to address.
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