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Child labour in Thailand

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US human trafficking laws might make Thai exports to the US more difficult, if action is not taken soon.

A child working at a shrimp processing factory at the Samut Sakhon shrimp market (Source: Thiti Wannamontha).



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Economics

Child migrant labour risks US anger

Shrimping sector faces clampdown for abuses
20/12/2012
Nanchanok Wongsamuth

The government's decision not to extend the national verification (NV) deadline for migrant workers will result in another round of human trafficking that could highlight Thailand's use of child labour in fisheries industry, says the Thai Frozen Foods Association (TFFA). 

Honorary president Poj Aramwattananont said the halt to NV will see 1.3 million illegal immigrants deported.

The Labour Ministry earlier rejected calls to extend NV, which is intended to prevent accusations of using child labour, labour abuse and the hiring of illegal immigrants, after it ended last Friday.

There are 2.5 million Myanmar workers in Thailand, of whom 1.2 million are registered.

The fisheries industry uses a large amount of immigrant labour and is more prone to suspicion than others.

"NV's expiration will result in human trafficking, putting us more in danger of being downgraded to Tier 3 status by the US next year," said Mr Poj.

You cannot go onto a sugar cane plantation to inspect it without risking being shot, and all the garment labour work behind closed doors. But it's easy to see it in the fisheries industry.

He said even though the TFFA has been working on this issue for six years, the situation only grows worse.

"We've been telling the Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group that we need to address three issues - child labour, human trafficking and slavery. If these three issues continue to exist here, then it will be the end of us," he said.

The shrimp industry has come under scrutiny after a US Public Broadcasting System documentary accused Thailand of using child migrants in factories.

Thailand and Bangladesh have been on the US government's Tier 2 Watch List for two years.

The US will review the country's status in February, and if Thailand makes the list for a third year, then it will be downgraded to Tier 3, which could mean more stringent non-tariff barriers. US retailers have said if Thailand does not improve its status next year, then they may halt their purchases.

Shipments to the US now account for only 36% of Thai exports, down from 56% in the past, while the proportion of exports to Japan has grown.

Meanwhile, Mr Poj said Thailand can benefit from adding value to its products.

To this end, it is essential for the fisheries industry to create a cluster comprising breeders, factories and companies such as the CP Group, he said.

Wimol Jantrarotai, director-general of the Fisheries Department, said Thailand has a high chance of moving up to Tier 1 if the labour and farm sectors would only cooperate.

(Source: Bangkok Post, Economics, Child migrant labour risks US anger, Shrimping sector faces clampdown for abuses, 20/12/2012, Nanchanok Wongsamuth, link


Child Labour Vocabulary

child labour - using children as workers in a way that prevents them from getting the necessary education and have a normal childhood: "the employment of children in any work that deprives children of their childhood, interferes with their ability to attend regular school, and that is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful" (See Wikipedia)

human trafficking - the illegal buying and selling of human beings for the purposes of forced labor or prostitution (See Wikipedia)
trafficking of children -
(See Wikipedia)

Tier 2 Watch List - Countries whose governments do not fully comply with US minimum standards for anti-human trafficking, but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards (See Wikipedia and bottom of page)
status - official or legal position สถานะ สถานภาพ
Thailand and Bangladesh have been on the US government's Tier 2 Watch List for two years.

Tier 3 status - countries whose governments do not fully comply with the US minimum standards for anti-human trafficking and are not making significant efforts to do so (See Wikipedia and bottom of page)
if Thailand makes the list for a third year, then it will be downgraded to Tier 3, which could mean more stringent non-tariff barriers.

migrant - moving from one place to another อพยพ
migrant workers - people who travels to another place or country to work ผู้อพยพ (See Wikipedia)
migrant labour

child migrant labour
child migrant labour risks US anger

sector - a part of the economy ภาคเศรษฐกิจของประเทศ (public sector = government, private sector = all businesses, household sector = families and consumers, banking sector,...) (See Wikipedia)
shrimping sector

clampdown - a determined attempt by someone in authority to stop people doing something bad or illegal ควบคุม
clampdown for abuses

shrimping sector faces clampdown for abuses

national - a citizen of a particular country ประชาชน
verification - checking whether something is correct, checking if you have permission to enter
national verification (NV) - the official government process of checking to see what country a person is from

deadline
- the date you must do something before (after it passes cannot do it anymore)  เส้นตาย
national verification (NV) deadline

extend - to add more time; to make a period of time longer ยืดออกไป  ขยายออกไป
extend the national verification (NV) deadline for migrant workers

round - one event of a series of many events (event #1, event #2, event #3, ....)
another round of
another round of human trafficking

highlight
- makes something easily seen (noticeable) and more important จุดสำคัญ เรียกทับศัพท์ว่า ไฮไลท์  เน้น ย้ำความสำคัญ

fisheries
- fish farms, places to raise fishes
fisheries industry
Thailand's use of child labour in fisheries industry

The government's decision not to extend the national verification (NV) deadline for migrant workers will result in another round of human trafficking that could highlight Thailand's use of child labour in fisheries industry.

halt - to stop หยุด
halt to NV

illegal - against the law ผิดกฎหมาย, นอกกฎหมาย
illegal immigrants - people who come into and stay in a country illegally 

deportation (noun) - the legal process of sending someone out of a country การเนรเทศ, การเนรเทศออกจากประเทศ
deport (verb)

illegal immigrants deported
the halt to NV will see 1.3 million illegal immigrants deported

reject - ปฏิเสธ, ไม่ยอมรับ
calls to ... - people are asking other people to do something ....

rejected calls to - the people asked to do something say they won't do it
the Labour Ministry earlier rejected calls to extend NV after it ended last Friday 

accusations
- bad things that others say that you have done (but not yet proven)
accusations of using child labour

abuse - to use or treat someone or something wrongly or badly; cruel, violent or unfair treatment โหดเหี้ยม ทารุณ ใช้ในทางที่ผิด
labour abuse

hiring
- giving a person a job การว่าจ้าง
the hiring of illegal immigrants

intended - planned; wanted to happen ที่ได้วางแผนไว้ ที่ตั้งใจให้เกิดขึ้น
NV is intended to prevent accusations of using child labour, labour abuse and the hiring of illegal immigrants

registered - officially recorded as a business with the government (and given permission to operate) (
there are 2.5 million Myanmar workers in Thailand, of whom 1.2 million are registered.

immigrant - a person who has come to a different country in order to live there permanently ผู้อพยพ, คนย้ายถิ่น
immigrant labour

prone to - having a tendency or the habit of
suspicion - not trusting and believing someone or something ความสงสัย ความไม่ไว้วางใจ ไม่น่าเชื่อถือ
prone to suspicion - having a tendency to not believe what people say

the fisheries industry uses a large amount of immigrant labour and is more prone to suspicion than others 

downgraded - reduced, lowered to a lower status or level
downgraded to Tier 3 status by the US

NV's expiration will result in human trafficking, putting us more in danger of being downgraded to Tier 3 status by the US next year.

plantation - a large farm where crops such as tea, coffee, cotton, sugar or, in this case, trees, are grown ไร่ นาขนาดใหญ่
a sugar cane plantation

inspect - to look at something carefully ตรวจสอบ
inspect a sugar cane plantation

risking being shot - it is possible that you will be shot by a gun (and be injured or die)

garment - clothes
garment labour

work behind closed doors - meaning: it is hidden and not transparent; no one can see what is happening
all the garment labour work behind closed doors

You cannot go onto a sugar cane plantation to inspect it without risking being shot, and all the garment labour work behind closed doors.

issue - a problem that people discuss or argue about how to solve ประเด็น
working on this issue
has been working on this issue for six years

He said even though the TFFA has been working on this issue for six years, the situation only grows worse.

address a problem - to try to deal with and solve a problem จัดการกับปัญหา จัดการปัญหา
address three issues

slave - a person who is owned by another person ทาส
slavery - the condition of being a slave (of being owned by another person) ความเป็นทาส
we've been telling the Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group that we need to address three issues - child labour, human trafficking and slavery.

scrutiny - to look at and check very carefully to look for problems การใคร่ครวญอย่างละเอียด การตรวจสอบอย่างละเอียด
come under scrutiny - people start to check carefully ...

documentary - a film or television programme that deals with real people and events สารคดี
US Public Broadcasting System documentary

migrants - people who travel to a different region or country to live and work ผู้อพยพ ในที่นี้หมายถึง คนต่างจังหวัดที่อพยพเข้ามาหางานทำที่กรุงเทพ
using child migrants in factories

The shrimp industry has come under scrutiny after a US Public Broadcasting System documentary accused Thailand of using child migrants in factories.

review - to look at closely (in order to possibly change or end something) 
review status

downgraded - to give a worse status to someone
downgraded to Tier 3


tariff - tax on imports
non-tariff barriers - Same as "non-tariff barriers to trade"

Non-tariff Barriers to Trade (NBTs)
- things that make exporting to a country more difficult but are not taxes on import or tariffs: "trade barriers that restrict imports but are not in the usual form of a tariff. Some common examples of NTB's are anti-dumping measures and countervailing duties, which, although called non-tariff barriers, have the effect of tariffs once they are enacted. Their use has risen sharply after the WTO rules led to a very significant reduction in tariff use" (See Wikipedia)

stringent - เข้มงวด
stringent non-tariff barriers

The US will review the country's status in February, and if Thailand makes the list for a third year, then it will be downgraded to Tier 3, which could mean more stringent non-tariff barriers.

improve - to make better ทำให้ดีขึ้น
improve status

retailers - companies that have stores that sell things directly to individual shopping customers  ผู้ขายปลีก, ผู้ขายตรง
US retailers have said if Thailand does not improve its status next year, then they may halt their purchases.

proportion - the percentage สัดส่วน, ส่วนผสมของสิ่งต่างๆ ตามอัตราที่กำหนด
Shipments to the US now account for only 36% of Thai exports, down from 56% in the past, while the proportion of exports to Japan has grown.

benefit - to get help or an advantage from something ผลประโยชน์
Meanwhile, Mr Poj said Thailand can benefit from adding value to its products.

breeders - people who are raising pigs to make more pigs (pigs have baby pigs)
cluster comprising breeders

comprising - consisting of ประกอบด้วย
a cluster comprising breeders, factories and companies

essential - necessary and important ที่จำเป็น ที่สำคัญ
To this end, it is essential for the fisheries industry to create a cluster comprising breeders, factories and companies such as the CP Group, he said.

has a high chance of
cooperate - work together with other people to achieve a goal ร่วมมือกัน การร่วมมือกัน การร่วมมือกันระหว่าง
Thailand has a high chance of moving up to Tier 1 if the labour and farm sectors would only cooperate.


Tier designations:

TIER 1: Countries whose governments fully comply with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s (TVPA) minimum standards.

TIER 2: Countries whose governments do not fully comply with the TVPA’s minimum standards, but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards.

TIER 2 WATCH LIST: Countries whose governments do not fully comply with the TVPA’s minimum standards, but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards AND:

a) The absolute number of victims of severe forms of trafficking is very significant or is significantly increasing;

b) There is a failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons from the previous year; or

c) The determination that a country is making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with minimum standards was based on commitments by the country to take additional future steps over the next year.

TIER 3: Countries whose governments do not fully comply with the minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so.

(See Wikipedia)

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