Thailand’s seafood industry relies heavily on low-paid and often forced migrant labour. Up to 200,000 migrants working in the Thai fishing industry are susceptible to exploitation and unethical labour practices. While the Thai government has announced plans to reform unregulated labour practices, more work remains to be done. The Freedom Fund has partnered with local organisations in Thailand that support migrant workers in the seafood industry, including Lin.
For ten years Lin worked as a fisherman without ever receiving a salary. When he lost his fingers in an accident aboard a fishing vessel while working in Indonesia, he received no compensation or help from his employer. He contacted LPN, one of the Freedom Fund’s partners, who helped him file a claim for his compensation. Initially, his employer agreed to give Lin only 50,000 baht ($1,400), but with help from LPN, he was finally awarded 320,000 baht ($9,200).
Following his ordeal, Lin decided to work with LPN as a volunteer because he didn’t want anybody else to ever have to face a situation like the one he went through. In his experience as a fisherman, he constantly saw migrant workers being detained, abused and prevented from contacting their families. He now volunteers as a translator, and assists migrants who have been unlawfully detained. He also teaches new migrants about adapting to life in Thailand. He has been able to help many migrant workers in his position at LPN, which makes him proud to be a volunteer.
The Freedom Fund’s Thailand Hotspot aims to significantly reduce slavery in the seafood industry. Learn more.