The Department of Corrections has issued an order prohibiting forced labour in prisons, following news reports about inmates having to make fishing nets for firms in exchange for payments that fall far short of the minimum wage.
Department chief Aryut Sinthopphan said letters were sent to 143 prisons telling them to stop using prisoners to produce fishing nets or doing any other jobs that do not benefit inmates in terms of enhancing their work skills. Instead, the nation's 260,000 prisoners will be allowed to freely choose the type of occupational training offered by the department and the Labour Ministry, he said.
All prisons are required to declare they have ceased using inmates to do work for companies on meagre wages, he said.
They must also comply with revised UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.