Thai fishery department is considering enforcing a policy under which fishery trawlers weighing more than 30 tonnes must install GPS surveillance systems.
The move has been prompted by the rescue of 68 fishery workers stranded on Ambon Island from the clutches of human traffickers. The rescued workers used to work as fishermen and were transported offshore using fishery trawlers.
Upon rescue by a Royal Thai Air Force plane one of the captives revealed that the traffickers had trapped him by trickery.
“I worked hard but the living conditions on board were not too bad. Some captains were cruel, but they had a reason to be cruel,” said the worker.
About 550 men from Myanmar and Cambodia are still trapped in slavery-like conditions, reports the Thai Ministry of Social Development and Human Security.
The Thai authorities will hope that its rescue attempts will help repair its reputation on human rights after it was ranked in the bottom rung in the United States’ annual report on Trafficking in Persons (TIP) last year.