GLJ-ILRF Files Amicus Brief on the Devastating Impacts of President Trump’s Latest Immigration Ban on Migrant Workers and their Families

GLJ-ILRF files amicus brief to protect the rights of migrant workers and their families and ensure the United States adopts immigration policies that are consistent with international human rights standards. 

Today, Global Labor JusticeInternational Labor Rights Forum (GLJ-ILRF) filed a brief in Gomez v. Trump, No. 20-05292 (U.S.D.C.) highlighting the devastating human and labor rights impact on migrant workers and their families of President Trump’s June 22, 2020 proclamation banning the entry of migrant workers. The Trump administration estimates that this ban will block nearly 525,000 migrant workers and their families from entering the US. Research shows that at least 1.42 million temporary foreign workers live and work annually in the U.S. across visa categories, sectors, and wage levels.

The amicus (friend of the court) brief highlights the U.S.’ international commitments that require it to ensure access to safe channels of migration and to protect migrant’s rights to due process and family integrity. But this policy separated migrant workers who had established their personal and professional lives in the U.S., from their families, including U.S. born children, without notice or minimal due process protections. As a result, these migrant workers, who had relied on U.S. immigration policies and invested significant time and resources into obtaining a work visa, are being pushed closer to poverty under internationally recognized standards of social, economic, and cultural rights.  

The U.S.’s failure to conduct the appropriate human rights due diligence before issuing the ban and its failure to respond to human rights violations when they arose is also highlighted by the amicus (friend of the court) brief. The amicus brief also includes examples of workers and their families in India and Colombia that have been harmed by the ban.  

“Human rights law and international labor standards must guide national action on labor migration programs. The Trump Administration’s failure to conduct human and labor rights due diligence before issuing the Covid Related Visa Ban left migrant workers without work, in debt recruitment fees, and in some cases separated from family,” said Jennifer (JJ) Rosenbaum, Executive Director of GLJILRF.  “The U.S. should establish labor migration programs that ensure decent work and just migration and be consistent even in times of uncertainty. This visa ban is another example of xenophobic action disguised by false claims of health, security and economic nationalism. Trump’s rhetoric and policy are backwards–protecting the working conditions, wages, and freedom of association of all workers across linked labor markets is how we avoid a race to the bottom where all workers lose.”

GLJ-ILRF is represented in the filing of the amicus brief by the International Human Rights Law Clinic, UC Berkeley, School of Law including Professor Roxanna Altholz and Clinical Teaching Fellow Astha Sharma Pokharel and law students Chelsea Muir, Ana Urgiles, and Veronica Stoever. “In just one of its latest attempts to fearmonger, further entrench xenophobia, and close down borders, the Trump Administration is exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to ban migrant workers from the United States. But the United States’ international obligations do not permit such a cruel and reckless policy,” said Sharma Pokharel. “The Administration’s behavior jeopardizes workers’ ability to migrate safely, and violates their right to due process and family integrity. These international human rights protections must constrain the Administration’s actions.” 

The amicus brief supports the complaint filed by Justice Action Center (JAC) along with the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association, Innovation Law Lab, and Mayer Brown (pro bono) represent the workers, unions, employers and organizations who collectively joined in the first lawsuit challenging the entirety of Trump’s June 22, 2020 COVID immigration ban.  

The complaint alleged that the June Proclamation, which effectively eliminated most of the family- and employment-based immigrant visa categories, the diversity visa program, and the H-1B, H-2B, J, and L nonimmigrant visa programs, is unlawful and unconstitutional., enables the President to continue these entry bans thereafter as long as he deems them “necessary,” and is irrational, undermining its asserted goals of protecting U.S. workers and aiding the country’s economic recovery during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

While certain aspects of the ban, specifically the ban on the diversity visa program, have been struck down by the courts, the provisions affecting temporary migrant workers remain in place.  

For more information about GLJ-ILRF’s work on labor migration, please see here



Global Labor Justice – International Labor Rights Forum (GLJ – ILRF) is a newly merged organization bringing strategic capacity to cross-sectoral work on global value chains and labor migration corridors. GLJ-ILRF holds global corporations accountable for labor rights violations in their supply chains, advances policies and laws that protect decent work and just migration, and strengthens freedom of association, new forms of bargaining, and worker organizations.

GLJ-ILRF Condemns and Mourns the Murder of Alex Dolorosa, Call Center Organizer with BIEN in the Philippines and Advocate for LGBTQ+ Workers

April 27, 2023

WASHINGTON DC: We at Global Labor JusticeInternational Labor Rights Forum express our outrage and deep sadness about the brutal murder of labor rights defender Alex Dolorosa, a call center organizer with the BPO Industry Employee Network (BIEN) in the Philippines and an advocate for LGBTQ+ workers.  Alex was a visionary organizer, colleague, and friend of GLJ-ILRF in building an inclusive labor movement that could deliver dignity and justice for workers in the Philippines and across borders.

Alex was a union organizer and paralegal with BIEN in Bacolod City, Philippines, which has worked closely with Communications Workers of America (CWA) and UNI Global Union on organizing and campaigns to support internationally recognized labor rights for call center workers on international value chains of U.S. and European multinational companies. Alex was also a dedicated campaigner for the rights of LGBTQ+ people in the industry with the BPO Employees Gay, Lesbian, and Allies for Genuine Acceptance and Democracy (BEGLAD).

After working in call centers and volunteering with BIEN since 2016, Alex became a full-time employee, organizer, and paralegal officer of BIEN. Because of their labor movement efforts, he and other BIEN leaders and staff and others in the Philippine labor movement faced threats and surveillance on multiple occasions.  In response to these threats, Alex took precautions – including moving houses in an attempt to stay safe.  But, like his union siblings, he refused to allow the threats to keep him from his commitments to organize for rights and dignity for call center workers.

On Monday morning, Alex was found dead behind a chicken coop, beaten and stabbed 31 times.

We share our deepest condolences with Alex’s family, friends, and union.  We will honor Alex’s memory by continuing to stand with BIEN and the trade union movement in the Philippines in the struggle for internationally recognized labor rights and human rights.

In the wake of this tragedy, we are disappointed that the Biden Administration will welcome Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. for a White House visit on May 1, celebrated as International Workers’ Day around the world.

We renew our call for the Biden administration to condition U.S.-Philippine engagement, including on trade benefits, on rapid progress in the protection of labor and human rights defenders, and expansion of workers’ meaningful access to internationally recognized fundamental labor rights, including by:

  • Urging the Philippine government to implement the recommendations of the ILO Tripartite High-Level Mission, including an Executive Order establishing a Presidential Commission that includes independent worker representatives;
  • Urging and monitoring progress of a serious, impartial, and independent investigation of the killings of Alex Dolorosa, Manny Asuncion, and all other labor rights defenders.  The Philippine labor movement has called for a Truth Commission with worker representation empowered to provide justice and compensation to those attacked for advancing workers’ rights.
  • Urging the immediate abolition of the Philippine National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), the principal source of official red-tagging, as demanded by the Philippine labor movement in their joint report to the ILO High-Level Tripartite Mission.

GLJ-ILRF has long supported labor rights defenders in the Philippines through successive waves of violent repression. We and our allies filed petitions seeking the withdrawal of trade benefits from the Philippines in 1995, in 2007, and, with unions from across the U.S. and the Philippines, again in 2021.  We updated the 2021 petition with additional incidents from 2022, and in 2023, we wrote to Secretary Raimondo and Ambassador Tai, again urging action as part of the Biden Administration’s worker-centered trade and foreign policy agenda.  Each time, we highlighted the persistence of state-sponsored anti-labor violence, arbitrary arrests, and red-tagging targeting worker-activists, along with the impunity that shelters perpetrators.  We urged the International Labor Organization, the Philippine government, and U.S. authorities to protect internationally recognized labor rights, demand an end to red-tagging that generates violence and false arrests, and stop the repression of workers across the Philippines.

Our 2021 GSP petition, raising concerns about escalating violence against trade unionists in the Philippines and urging action by the Biden Administration, was elevated by the labor movements of the United States and the Philippines, with signatories such as:

Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU)
American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)
American Federation of Teachers (AFT)
American Postal Workers Union (APWU)
Communications Workers of America (CWA)
International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT)
Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement
Workers of America (UAW)
United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union (USW)
United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE)
Global Labor Justice-International Labor Rights Forum (GLJ-ILRF)
BPO Industry Employees’ Network (BIEN) (Philippines)
Council of Global Unions – Pilipinas (CGUP) (Philippines)
Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) (Philippines)
National Congress of Unions in the Sugar Industry in the Philippines (NACUSIP) (Philippines)
National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE) (Philippines)
Nagkaisa Labor Coalition (NLC) (Philippines)
Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (SENTRO) (Philippines)
Partido Manggagawa (PM) (Philippines)
Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) (Philippines)
Public Services Labor Independent Confederation (PSLINK) (Philippines)
Unified Filipino Service Workers (UFSW) (Philippines)

For more statements of solidarity, please see below:


Global Labor Justice International Labor Rights Forum (GLJ – ILRF) is a non-governmental organization that works transnationally to advance policies and laws that protect decent work; to strengthen freedom of association and workers’ ability to advocate for their rights; and to hold corporations accountable for labor rights violations in their supply chains.

GLJ-ILRF Statement on Gabriel Boric’s Presidential Victory in Chile

“In what can only be seen as another historic victory for working people, youth, women and migrants in Chile, Gabriel Boric, a former leader of the student movement and face of a new prorgressive coalition won a decisive election on December 19. For years Chile has been going through a process of social, cultural and political transformation away from the Neoliberal model imposed by the Pinochet dictatorship, which generated one of the most unequal societies in the world. Chileans have been confronting and rising up against this system with mass mobilizations by the student, pensioneer and feminist movements. The massive protests of 2019 culminated in an agreement to hold elections for a Constitutional Convention. The convention was not only democratically elected for the first time in Chilean history, but it was also the first of its kind anywhere in the world composed of 50% women. The writing of the new constitution is mandated to conclude in 2022 with a referendum. 

Gabriel Boric’s victory thus presents significant reassurance that the constitutional process will continue unimpeded, which entails a high probability that labor rights will be enshrined in the magna carta. Furthermore, it creates enormous and unparalleled opportunities for organizing and power-building for social movements and labor unions in the short to mid-term. Combined, the constitutional process and the pro-labor policies of the Boric administration have the potential to create an environment that is extraordinarily conducive for the development of transformative organizing projects. It is fair to say there has never been a time in which Chilean workers had a better chance to drastically change their working conditions for years to come.

Strengthening organizations on the ground that are at the forefront of this struggle and supporting the constitutional process continues to be a priority for GLJ-ILRF, as we believe it is only through organized people power that long-standing and deep labor justice can be won and sustained. We are proud, committed and excited to collaborate with our partners in Chile as they continue their hard and painstaking efforts of transitioning away from neoliberalism into a rights-based society of justice and dignity for working people.



Global Labor Justice – International Labor Rights Forum (GLJ – ILRF) is a newly merged organization bringing strategic capacity to cross-sectoral work on global value chains and labor migration corridors. GLJ-ILRF holds global corporations accountable for labor rights violations in their supply chains, advances policies and laws that protect decent work and just migration, and strengthens freedom of association, new forms of bargaining, and worker organizations.

Global Labor JusticeInternational Labor Rights Forum stands in solidarity with the unions and workers fighting for justice at Starbucks.
AFL-CIO, SEIU, Workers United Slam Starbucks for ‘Bluewashing’ in Bombshell ILO Complaint Accusing Coffee Giant of Exploiting Weaknesses in US Labor Law to Squash Worker Organizing

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Despite company’s claims, ‘anti-union crusade’ runs afoul of UN-backed international labor standards to protect workers

ILO filing comes as Starbucks investors support third-party audit of company’s labor practices, U.S. Congress cracks down on its union busting 

GENEVA — Starbucks has repeatedly defended its unprecedented, unpopular anti-union campaign by claiming it commits to the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) “Core Labor Standards,” including principles of freedom of association. A new blockbuster complaint filed Thursday with the ILO – a United Nations agency whose mandate is to promote decent work for all by setting international labor standards – squashes the coffee giant’s claims as a hypocritical fiction.

Jointly filed by the American Federal of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and Workers United (an affiliate of SEIU), the 36-page complaint outlines in great detail how Starbucks is exploiting weaknesses in U.S. labor law in an effort to squash workers’ organizing efforts and deny them a seat at the bargaining table. At the same time, the company is engaging in “bluewashing” in a failed attempt to create a public appearance of social responsibility by association with the United Nations (and its blue flag) without actually engaging in socially responsible conduct.

“This complaint shows clearly that Starbucks does not abide by any kind of internationally recognized labor standards. Starbucks can no longer hide behind the ILO to justify its unpopular – and illegal – anti-union campaign. Starbucks’ bluewashing stops here,” said Mary Kay Henry, international president of SEIU. “The complaint also shows how US labor law fails to protect workers against greedy corporations. It’s time to rewrite the rules to create a new economy where everyone can thrive.”

The complaint highlights the ways in which U.S. law and practice fail to comport with ILO standards and how Starbucks continues to exploit those shortcomings to attack workers’ organizing and bargaining rights.

“U.S labor law and its enforcement steps are woefully inadequate to deal with a big, powerful employer determined to crush union organizing among its employees by interfering with their freedom of association in violation of ILO standards,” the complaint reads. “Starbucks’ anti-union crusade makes it an outlier even among American employers who are well known for their harsh antipathy toward trade unions. U.S. labor law does not provide the [National Labor Relations Board] with the tools needed to halt it.”

The complaint details how since January 2021, workers in more than 280 Starbucks stores have voted in favor of union representation. None have achieved a collective agreement or are even close to achieving it. In the course of the organizing movement, Starbucks has fired nearly 200 union activists and made multiple threats of reprisal against workers if they vote in favor of union representation, according to the complaint.

The unions ask the ILO to convene an on-the-spot “mission,” meeting with Starbucks workers and their union, Starbucks management, U.S. government officials, and other relevant actors to investigate Starbucks’ anti-worker conduct. If the Biden administration invites such a mission, it would be the first time in history that the UN agency would conduct a mission in the United States, and a clear indication that Starbucks’ anti-union conduct falls outside accepted international norms.

“The freedom to stand together with co-workers to have a union on the job is internationally recognized as a fundamental human right,” said AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler. “This complaint underscores the vital importance of holding corporations like Starbucks accountable for undercutting the freedom of association and harming workers who are simply organizing for basic fairness and a better life for their families.”

Falsely Claiming the UN Flag 

Starbucks has repeatedly invoked international labor standards to defend its interference with workers’ freedom of association. The company has embraced ILO standards in public statements and, most recently, in a statement to Starbucks shareholders opposing a proposal for an independent third-party report on the company’s response to employees’ organizing efforts. In the statement, the company tries to explain away its anti-union campaign by arguing the ILO Committee on Freedom of Association “confirmed that employers’ enjoy” a right to freedom of expression.

“The Committee has not confirmed that employers enjoy an international right to wage vitriolic campaigns of fear and intimidation against workers’ organizing efforts in the name of freedom of expression,” the complaint reads. “Starbucks is clearly trying to wrap itself in the mantle of the ILO and the Committee on Freedom of Association to justify its anti-union campaign conduct.”

The complaint cites three main shortcomings of US labor law that Starbucks is exploiting:

  • The National Labor Relations Act violates ILO standards on its face by allowing employers to interfere with workers’ freedom of association, including through tactics like captive-audience meetings.
  • Even where key elements of U.S. law align with ILO standards on their face, the absence of effective, timely, and dissuasive remedies available to the National Labor Relations Board violates principles of freedom of association by allowing Starbucks to violate workers’ organizing and bargaining rights with virtual impunity.
  • The lack of “effective and expeditious procedures” and “rapid appeal procedures” required by ILO standards allows Starbucks to continue interfering with workers’ freedom of association and to use excessive delays to frustrate organizing and bargaining rights.

“This complaint shows, in stark detail, how Starbucks has taken advantage of those aspects of US labor law that fail to comply with international standards on freedom of association to deny its workers the right to join a union, contrary to the company’s assertions,” said Deborah Greenfield, former ILO deputy director-general for policy. “Until the US amends its laws, the cards are stacked against workers in all sectors of our economy who try to exercise their right to freedom of association, despite the vigorous enforcement efforts of the National Labor Relations Board.”

The complaint highlights stunning examples of failures of US law and case studies of how Starbucks has exploited the loopholes to silence workers. It outlines how Starbucks is systematically contesting election results and appealing administrative law judges’ decisions, thus interfering with workers’ freedom of association. It outlines a reality in which an undeterred Starbucks continues to wage its unprecedented anti-union campaign:

  • Workers begin to organize, and Starbucks interferes with workers’ organizing rights.
  • Workers and unions seek representation elections and file unfair labor practice charges with the NLRB, but Starbucks’ interference continues apace.
  • [NLRB] Regional directors find merit in charges, and Starbucks’ interference continues apace.
  • Administrative law judges find Starbucks guilty of unlawful interference, and Starbucks’ interference continues apace.
  • Starbucks challenges, appeals, loses appeals, re-appeals, and its interference continues apace.

“If the U.S. labor law system functioned in reasonable compliance with ILO standards, NLRB actions and decisions in early cases would serve to deter future violations,” the complaint reads. “But the opposite has happened here. The NLRB and ALJs, and courts have acted, but Starbucks is unrelenting in its nationwide campaign to destroy workers’ organizing. Instead of slowing and halting its violations, Starbucks is accelerating them.”

“Unscrupulous employers like Starbucks are weaponizing labor laws. Starbucks is appealing and delaying in an attempt to circumvent our US laws and thwart organizing and bargaining rights,” said Lynne Fox, international president of Workers United. “We all know what’s going on here. Starbucks is playing against the clock, and its legal strategy is to delay justice until employees become disillusioned with the process and give up the right to organize and bargain. Starbucks is playing with people’s lives and livelihoods. Starbucks has invoked ILO standards to defend its behavior, and this complaint will bring an end to that.”

Extra Shot of Trouble for Starbucks 

Since former Howard Schultz stepped down as Starbucks CEO, the coffee giant has come under pressure to turn the page from Schultz’ union-busting tactics and give workers a true seat at the table rather than the metaphorical empty chair they leave for workers at shareholder meetings.

In April, Starbucks shareholders overwhelmingly voted in favor of a third-party audit of the company’s labor practices, demonstrating a clear desire among investors for the coffee giant to reset its approach to the baristas’ historic union organizing effort. Immediately after the vote, Starbucks partners and community allies turned up the heat on the Starbucks Board of Directors in a series of national actions, demanding they guide the company in a new direction under CEO Laxman Narasimhan and respect the right of workers to organize and collectively bargain for a strong contract without fear of retaliation.

Since December 2021, more than 7,500 Starbucks workers have organized nearly 300 stores, demanding Starbucks respect workers’ fundamental right to organize and bargain a fair contract with their workers.

In this same time period, regional offices of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) have issued more than 70 official complaints against Starbucks, prosecuting the company for over 1,300 specific alleged violations of federal labor law, including accusations that former CEO Howard Schultz personally threatened a worker who expressed support for organizing. To date, NLRB Administrative Law Judges have issued nine decisions, eight of which collectively found that the company has committed 130 violations, including illegal monitoring and firing organizerscalling the police on workers, and outright closing a store that recently attempted to organize.

In March, the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) heard testimony from baristas Maggie Carter and Jaysin Saxton about the illegal retaliation they faced for organizing with Starbucks Workers United and grilled former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz about his role in leading one of the most vicious union-busting campaigns in U.S. history. Schultz only agreed to testify under threat of subpoena. Ahead of the hearing, U.S. Senator Cory Booker and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) sent a letter to Schultz lambasting the company’s “blatant anti-union behavior” and calling on him to bargain in good faith with his workers.



Phoebe Rogers,, 914-343-9063

Shannon Garth Rhodes,, 832-545-1851

February 22, 2022

Organizations urge U.S. to block imports of fishing nets from Thai companies over evidence of forced prison labor

WASHINGTON – Global Labor Justice – International Labor Rights Forum (GLJ-ILRF) and partner organizations in the Seafood Working Group (SWG) are calling on the Biden Administration to ensure U.S. companies do not import fishing nets made by Thai companies that use forced prison labor.

In a petition submitted to the U.S. government, the organizations say that two Thai companies – Khon Kaen Fishing Net Factory Co., Ltd. (KKF) and Dechapanich Fishing Net Factory Ltd. (Dechapanich) – have made fishing nets under exploitative conditions in Thai prisons. They are calling on the U.S. to investigate and block these companies from selling nets to U.S. corporations.

The groups submitted the petition following an expose by Thai journalist Nanchanok Wongsamuth on the working conditions in Thai prisons, which use inmates to fulfill high-value contracts with Thai companies. Prisoners said that they and hundreds of other inmates were forced to make nets for less than Thai minimum wage if they were paid at all. Prisoners also said they had no protective gear, sustained painful blisters and cuts as they were pushed to meet quotas and were beaten or tortured if they refused to work.

Seafood giant Trident Seafoods, as well as Calusa Trading Co., H. Christiansen Co. (Duluth Nets), and Gramter International USA have purchased fishing nets from KKF, and Fitech International Inc. has bought Dechapanich fishing nets, according to records in an international trade database.

The SWG is calling on Thai and U.S. seafood companies to commit to responsible sourcing and transparency in their supply chains. The global fishing industry is rife with abuse and Thai and international labor rights groups will continue to use all means at their disposal to end forced labor and raise standards for all workers in the industry.

“This is just one of many examples of how multinational corporations scour the globe to source the lowest-priced products, but absolve themselves of responsibility for the human rights abuses their race to the bottom engenders. We’re calling on U.S. companies to ensure that their suppliers respect workers’ rights and for the U.S. government to ban the import of these nets and all products found to be made with forced prison labor or forced labor of any kind. No worker – including prisoners – should be subjected to forced labor,” said Jennifer (JJ) Rosenbaum, Executive Director of GLJ-ILRF.

Thai and international civil society organizations have put together recommendations to the Government of Thailand, the Thai fishing net companies, and U.S. buyers to address abusive working conditions in prisons and to end forced labor in global supply chains.

Background on Thai fishing net production: 

According to interviews with several former prisoners who made fishing nets for KKF, Dechapanich, and other companies, and who witnessed hundreds of other prisoners make nets inside the prison and at company factories, prisoners were required to undertake the work without choice. They were paid a fraction of the minimum wage or nothing at all, performed the work in overcrowded facilities, and sustained painful blisters and cuts from the sharp fibers due to lack of protective gear and being pushed to fill unreasonable quotas.

Those who were unable to meet high production quotas or refused to undertake work faced various forms of physical punishment and torture. One former prisoner explained, “For some prisoners who were more stubborn about doing the work, they were forced to lie down on the hot concrete road, in the sun, without a shirt and had to roll back and forth. Some were also beaten by batons. They had either refused to work at all or couldn’t meet the quota [for fishing nets].” Some prisoners had to go to the hospital outside of the prison because they suffered serious injuries, such as a broken arm or leg.

Prison officials also used the threat of delayed release to compel prisoners to work and ​​repeatedly informed prisoners that they have no rights and that there is no use in filing a complaint. A different former prisoner said, “There was no agreement or contract about wages between the prisoners and the prison. They didn’t explain anything. We had to learn from fellow prisoners. You have to understand this was a ‘twilight land’. They did not look at you as a human being.” The testimonies provide strong evidence of forced labor per U.S. law and the International Labor Organization (ILO)’s indicators of forced labor.

Thailand has a long history of labor exploitation in its prison system, which human rights organizations and the media have reported on in recent years, including the prevalence of punishment and disciplinary measures used against prisoners that could amount to torture. The Thai government has continued to try to hire prisoners in order to fill labor shortages in recent years. This has included a failed policy proposal by the Ministry of Labor in 2015 to recruit prisoners to work on Thai fishing vessels, which are widely known for their rampant human rights abuses. More recently, in 2021, Thailand’s Minister of Justice proposed building industrial estates where companies can hire prisoners to work in seafood processing factories to fill labor shortages arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and to facilitate prison decongestion.

Thailand has struggled to eradicate forced labor from its highly profitable commercial seafood industry. In 2021, Thailand was downgraded to ‘Tier 2 Watch List’ in the U.S. State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report for ongoing forced labor of migrant workers particularly in the fishing sector. Thai seafood companies and U.S. buyers, too, have developed numerous initiatives to end forced labor in the Thai seafood industry, yet abuses are reportedly ongoing.


GLJILRF is a newly merged organization that brings strategic capacity to cross-sectoral work on global value chains and labor migration corridors.

The Seafood Working Group (SWG) is a global coalition of human rights, labor and environmental organizations that work together to develop and advocate for effective government policies and industry actions to end the related problems of labor exploitation, illegal fishing and overfishing in the international seafood trade.


The following recommendations to the Government of Thailand, the Thai fishing net companies, and U.S. buyers have been developed by Thai and international civil society organizations with extensive expertise working to address forced labor in global supply chains.

To the Government of Thailand:

  1. Ensure working conditions in all prisons are consistent with the U.N. Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules) and the U.N. Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-custodial Measures for Women Offenders (the Bangkok Rules). In particular, the Nelson Mandela Rules state “there shall be a system of equitable remuneration of the work of prisoners,” and “prison labor must not be of an afflictive nature.”
  2. Comply with the U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, particularly with regard to the state duty to protect human rights and ensure access to remedy through judicial, administrative, and legislative means.
  3. Enforce the “Ministerial Regulation Calculation of monetary income and the payment of reward for inmates where work carried out generates income that can be translated to monetary value B.E. 2563 (2020),” which prescribes for prisoners to receive 70% of the profits from the work they are assigned.
  4. Halt all plans to use prisoners in industrial zones and similar plans to use prisoners to fill labor shortages.
  5. Provide instruction and training to prison officials to end the use of physical violence to force prisoners to work or to meet unreasonable production quotas. As per the Nelson Mandela Rules, “in no circumstances may restrictions or disciplinary sanctions amount to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The following practices, in particular, shall be prohibited: (a) Indefinite solitary confinement; (b) Prolonged solitary confinement; (c) Placement of a prisoner in a dark or constantly lit cell; (d) Corporal punishment or the reduction of a prisoner’s diet or drinking water; (e) Collective punishment.”
  6. Conduct regular inspections of prisons and investigate all allegations of human rights violations related to prison labor, then publicly report on the findings and adequately compensate victims of abuses.
  7. Allow independent inspection bodies, including the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand (NHRCT) and the Ombudsman, unfettered access to all prisons, in line with commitments made by Thailand during its second Universal Periodic Review.
  8. Allow non-governmental organizations with a relevant mandate to conduct visits to places of detention, interview inmates, and assess conditions without undue hindrance.                                                                

To the Thai fishing nets companies – KKF and Dechapanich:

  1. Ensure that working conditions in your company’s operations and in your supply chains and business relationships are in accordance with Thai law, international human rights law, and international labor standards.
  2. Comply with the U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights by undertaking human rights due diligence in all workplaces still under contract with your company or future contracts that are being negotiated. This includes assessing actual or potential abuses, ceasing activities that contribute to abuses, publicizing due diligence policies and activities, and providing effective remedy for any labor violations found.
  3. Cooperate with U.S. buyers to provide remedy for former prisoners who produced fishing nets under exploitative conditions while under contract with your company. In particular, provide compensation for unpaid wages.
  4. Commit to public disclosure of supply chain information in order to ensure greater transparency in supply chains and support frontline organizations in identifying and reporting labor exploitation earlier on.

To the U.S. buyers – Calusa Trading Co., Gramter International, Trident Seafoods, H. Christiansen Co., and Fitec International U.S.:

  1. Comply with the U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights by undertaking human rights due diligence throughout entire supply chains and in all workplaces still under contract with your company or future contracts that are being negotiated. This includes assessing actual or potential abuses, ceasing activities that contribute to abuses, publicizing due diligence policies and activities, and providing effective remedy for any labor violations found.
  2. Cooperate with KKF and Dechapanich to provide remedy to former prisoners who produced fishing nets under exploitative conditions while under contract with your company. In particular, provide compensation for unpaid wages.
  3. Commit to public disclosure of supply chain information in order to ensure greater transparency in supply chains and support frontline organizations in identifying and reporting labor exploitation earlier on.
  4. Proactively support implementation of the U.S. Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP) to ensure greater transparency in global supply chains and to prevent forced labor-sourced goods from entering the U.S. market.



Global Labor JusticeInternational Labor Rights Forum joins the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF), the  International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), and trade unions around the world in condemning the guilty verdicts and prison sentences in Cambodia for nine labor rights defenders and leaders of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees (LRSU) including LRSU President Chhim Sithar.  The charges are rooted in lawful union actions related to an ongoing labor dispute at the NagaWorld Casino Hotel. Organizing and campaigning for access to national law and international labor standards for workers should never be a crime.  If this verdict and sentences remain, they risk harm to those charged and sentenced and a broader chilling effect on lawful worker organizing, and an increase in labor rights violations.  

GLJ-ILRF also adds its voice to calls on NagaCorp and its investors to resolve the underlying labor issues including reinstating terminated workers and engaging in good-faith negotiations with LRSU.  As part of this, NagaCorp should also join the calls for Chimm Sithar to be released and the withdrawal of all charges against her and the other LRSU leaders for their labor rights defender efforts.  

For more information on the labor rights struggle at NagaWorld and regular updates, please see the newly released IUF’s web resources which gives the public a detailed history of this labor dispute and is available in English, Khmer and Chinese.

You can read the joint statement from the IUF and ITUC below.

Contact: Rachel Cohen,


Global Labor JusticeInternational Labor Rights Forum (GLJ – ILRF) is a non-governmental organization that works transnationally to advance policies and laws that protect decent work; to strengthen freedom of association and workers’ ability to advocate for their rights; and to hold corporations accountable for labor rights violations in their supply chains. 

May 25, 2023

IUF and ITUC Statement on the Verdicts and Prison Sentences for LRSU leaders including LRSU President Chhim Sithar by Cambodia’s Phnom Penh Court of First Instance 

The International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF) and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), collectively representing over 200 million workers around the world, strongly condemn the guilty verdicts and prison sentences for 9 IUF affiliate LRSU leaders including President Chhim Sithar. We call on NagaCorp to use its considerable influence to persuade the Government of Cambodia to change course immediately, to release Sister Sithar and to drop all charges against her and the other LRSU leaders. We further call on NagaCorp to reinstate the terminated workers and members of LRSU and to negotiate in good faith with the union. 

Nine members of the Labor Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees of Nagaworld (LRSU), including LRSU President Chhim Sithar were convicted today for incitement to commit a felony under Articles 494 and 495 of the Cambodian Criminal Code after engaging in a peaceful strike at NagaWorld casino in Phnom Penh. 5 were given 1.5 year prison sentences, 3 were given 1 year suspended sentences, and LRSU President Chhim Sithar was given the maximum sentence of 2 years. Local NGO’s have documented the regular use of these articles to charge and jail activists. The strike was in response to union-busting at NagaWorld casino where in April 2021, the company used the economic impacts of COVID-19 as an excuse to terminate 1,329 workers. 1,100 of these were LRSU members and activists, including the union’s entire leadership. The strike followed all legal procedures and came after numerous attempts to negotiate in good faith with the company were rebuffed. 

From December 31, 2021 to the end of the first week of January 2022, 29 striking workers were arrested. Nine were charged with incitement to commit a felony. One of the nine was released on bail, while the other eight remained in detention. The other workers were released on bail in March 2022. Since February 2022, Cambodian authorities have become more hostile and violent toward the strikers, attacking and harassing them, causing injuries such as black eyes, bloody noses, broken bones, and, in one case, a miscarriage. On April 3, LRSU president Chhim Sithar and other LRSU leaders received a death threat, left as a text on the phone of the brother of one of the representatives. LRSU alerted the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and other embassies about the threat. On November 26, 2022, LRSU president Chhim Sithar was arrested and jailed at the Phnom Penh airport upon returning from the ITUC Congress in Melbourne, Australia. Authorities claimed she had breached her bail conditions by traveling abroad. She had, however, never been shown her bail conditions, and had previously traveled to Thailand without incident. 

In March 2022, the IUF filed a complaint with the International Labour Organisation’s Committee on Freedom of Association for violations of ILO Conventions 87 and 98. As a result, the ILO has issued a formal decision urging the Government of Cambodia to ensure that NagaCorp respect labour and trade union rights. In April 2023, the IUF also filed OECD complaints against NagaCorp’s key bondholders for their failure to conduct due diligence under the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. The IUF is launching a new campaign website about the struggle at NagaWorld today which gives the public a detailed history of this struggle and is available in English, Khmer and Chinese. 

22 กุมภาพันธ์ 2565

องค์กรต่าง ๆ เรียกร้องให้รัฐบาลสหรัฐ ฯ ระงับการนำเข้าแหอวนจากบริษัทไทย เนื่องจากหลักฐานบ่งชี้ถึงการบังคับใช้แรงงานในเรือนจำ

กรุงวอชิงตัน ดี.ซี.องค์กร Global Labor Justice – International Labor Rights Forum (GLJ-ILRF) และองค์กรภาคีที่เป็นสมาชิกคณะทำงานด้านอาหารทะเล (Seafood Working Group: SWG) เรียกร้องให้รัฐบาลของนายไบเดนรับประกันว่า บริษัทสัญชาติสหรัฐอเมริกาเลิกนำเข้าแหอวนที่ผลิตโดยบริษัทสัญชาติไทยที่บังคับใช้แรงงานผู้ต้องขัง

องค์กรดังกล่าวได้ยื่นจดหมายต่อรัฐบาลสหรัฐอเมริกา โดยระบุว่า บริษัทไทยจำนวนสองบริษัท ได้แก่ บริษัท ขอนแก่นแหอวน จำกัด และบริษัท โรงงานทออวนเดชาพานิช จำกัด มีการใช้แรงงานในเรือนจำไทยโดยใช้เงื่อนไขที่แสวงหาผลประโยชน์จากแรงงาน องค์กรเหล่านี้เรียกร้องให้ประเทศสหรัฐอเมริกาดำเนินการสืบสวนและป้องกันไม่ให้บริษัทดังกล่าวขายแหอวนให้แก่บริษัทสหรัฐอเมริกา

กลุ่มองค์กรดังกล่าวได้ยื่นจดหมายหลังจากนางสาวนันท์ชนก วงษ์สมุทร นักข่าวชาวไทย เปิดเผยสภาพการทำงานในเรือนจำไทย ซึ่งใช้ผู้ต้องขังเป็นส่วนหนึ่งในการทำสัญญามูลค่าสูงกับบริษัทไทย ผู้ต้องขังกล่าวว่า ตนและเพื่อนผู้ต้องขังอีกหลายร้อยคนถูกบังคับให้ผลิตแหอวนโดยได้ค่าจ้างน้อยกว่าค่าจ้างขั้นต่ำ หรือแม้แต่ไม่ได้รับค่าจ้างเลย ผู้ต้องขังยังกล่าวว่า บริษัทไม่ได้จัดเตรียมอุปกรณ์ป้องกันความปลอดภัย ทำให้เกิดบาดแผลที่เจ็บปวดอย่างยาวนานจากการบังคับให้ทำยอด หรือหากผู้ต้องขังปฏิเสธทำงานก็จะถูกทุบตีหรือทำโทษอย่างทารุณ

ข้อมูลการค้าระหว่างประเทศระบุว่า บริษัทอาหารทะเลยักษ์ใหญ่อย่างเช่นบริษัท Trident Seafoodsรวมถึง Calusa Trading Co., Christiansen Co. (Duluth Nets) และ Gramter International USAเป็นผู้ซื้อผลิตภัณฑ์แหอวนจากบริษัทขอนแก่นแหอวน ส่วนบริษัท Fitech International Inc. ซื้อสินค้าจากบริษัทเดชาพานิช

SWG เรียกร้องให้บริษัทอาหารทะเลไทยและสหรัฐอเมริกามุ่งมั่นดำเนินนโยบายการจัดหาสินค้าที่มีความรับผิดชอบและสร้างความโปร่งใสในห่วงโซ่อุปทานของตัวเอง อุตสาหกรรมประมงนั้นเต็มไปด้วยการละเมิดสิทธิแรงงาน กลุ่มที่ทำงานส่งเสริมสิทธิแรงงานทั้งในไทยและระหว่างประเทศจะดำเนินการอย่างต่อเนื่องทุกวิถีทางที่ทำได้เพื่อยุติการบังคับใช้แรงงานและยกระดับมาตรฐานสำหรับแรงงานในภาคส่วนดังกล่าวทุกคน

“กรณีนี้เป็นหนึ่งในตัวอย่างที่พบได้มากมายของบรรษัทข้ามชาติในการจัดหาผลิตภัณฑ์ราคาถูกจากทั่วโลก โดยปลดเปลื้องความรับผิดชอบของตนเองในการปกป้องการละเมิดสิทธิมนุษยชนที่เกิดจากการดำเนินธุรกิจของตน พวกเราขอเรียกร้องให้บริษัทสหรัฐอเมริการับประกันว่า ซัพพลายเออร์ของตัวเองเคารพสิทธิของแรงงาน และเรียกร้องให้รัฐบาลสหรัฐอเมริกาห้ามการนำเข้าแหอวนและผลิตภัณฑ์อื่น ๆ ที่พบว่ามีการบังคับใช้แรงงานผู้ต้องขังหรือการใช้แรงงานบังคับทุกรูปแบบ ไม่ควรมีแรงงานคนใดรวมถึงผู้ต้องขังที่ต้องเผชิญการบังคับใช้แรงงาน” นางสาวเจนนิเฟอร์ (เจเจ) โรเซนบาม ผู้อำนวยการบริหารของ GLJ-ILRF กล่าว

องค์กรภาคประชาสังคมทั้งไทยและระหว่างประเทศได้รวบรวมข้อเสนอแนะสำหรับรัฐบาลไทย บริษัทแหอวนไทย และผู้ซื้อในสหรัฐอเมริกา เพื่อปรับปรุงสภาพการทำงานในเรือนจำและยุติการบังคับใช้แรงงานในห่วงโซ่อุปทานทั่วโลก



การสัมภาษณ์อดีตผู้ต้องขังที่เคยผลิตแหอวนให้แก่บริษัทขอนแก่นแหอวนและเดชาพานิชและบริษัทอื่น ๆ และเคยพบเห็นผู้ต้องขังอื่น ๆ นับร้อยคนทำงานถักเย็บแหอวนภายในเรือนจำและที่โรงงานของบริษัทชี้ให้เห็นว่า ผู้ต้องขังถูกบังคับให้ทำงานโดยไม่มีทางเลือกโดยได้รับค่าจ้างเพียงเสี้ยวหนึ่งของค่าจ้างขั้นต่ำตามกฎหมายหรือแม้แต่ไม่ได้รับค่าจ้างเลย ต้องทำงานในสถานที่แออัด และได้รับบาดแผลจากเส้นใยถักอวนเนื่องจากขาดอุปกรณ์ป้องกันความปลอดภัยและถูกกดดันให้ทำยอดอย่างไม่สมเหตุสมผล

ผู้ที่ไม่สามารถทำงานตามยอดอันไม่สมเหตุสมผลนี้หรือปฏิเสธการทำงานจะต้องเผชิญกับการทำโทษในรูปแบบต่าง ๆ อดีตผู้ต้องขังรายหนึ่งรายงานว่า “ผู้ต้องขังบางคนที่ดื้อไม่ยอมทำงานจะถูกทำโทษให้ถอดเสื้อนอนกลิ้งบนพื้นคอนกรีตร้อน ๆ กลางแดดไปมา บางคนก็ถูกตีด้วยกระบอง ซึ่งอาจจะเกิดจากการปฏิเสธทำงานหรือไม่สามารถทำตามยอด [ถักอวน] ได้” ผู้ต้องขังบางรายต้องถูกนำไปรักษาที่โรงพยาบาลนอกเรือนจำเนื่องจากได้รับบาดเจ็บสาหัส เช่น แขนหรือขาหัก

เจ้าหน้าที่เรือนจำยังใช้การข่มขู่ว่าจะยืดระยะต้องโทษเพื่อบังคับให้ผู้ต้องขังทำงาน และย้ำแก่ผู้ต้องขังซ้ำ ๆ ว่า พวกเขาไม่มีสิทธิใด ๆ และการยื่นเรื่องร้องเรียนนั้นไม่มีประโยชน์ อดีตผู้ต้องขังอีกรายกล่าวว่า “[เรือนจำ] ไม่มีการทำข้อตกลงหรือสัญญาที่ระบุรายละเอียดค่าจ้างกับผู้ต้องขัง พวกเขาไม่ได้อธิบายอะไรเลย เราทราบรายละเอียดจากเพื่อนผู้ต้องขังคนอื่น คุณต้องเข้าใจว่านี่คือ “ดินแดนสนธยา” เขาไม่ได้มองคุณเป็นมนุษย์” การสัมภาษณ์ให้หลักฐานการบังคับใช้แรงงานที่สำคัญตามกฎหมายของประเทศสหรัฐอเมริกาและตัวชี้วัดการบังคับใช้แรงงานขององค์การแรงงานระหว่างประเทศ (ILO)

ประเทศไทยมีประวัติการแสวงหาผลประโยชน์จากแรงงานในระบบเรือนจำมาเป็นระยะเวลานาน ดังที่องค์กรสิทธิมนุษยชนและสื่อได้รายงานในปีที่ผ่านมา เช่น การใช้การลงโทษและมาตรการทางวินัยต่อผู้ต้องขังอย่างกว้างขวางที่อาจถึงขั้นเป็นการทารุณกรรม รัฐบาลไทยยังคงจ้างแรงงานผู้ต้องขังเพื่ออุดภาวะขาดแคลนแรงงานในประเทศที่เกิดขึ้น อย่างเช่นการเสนอนโยบายโดยกระทรวงแรงงานในปี 2558 เกี่ยวกับการจ้างผู้ต้องขังในการทำงานบนเรือประมง ซึ่งเป็นภาคส่วนที่ทราบกันดีว่ามีการละเมิดสิทธิแรงงานมาก เมื่อเร็ว ๆ นี้ในปี 2564 รัฐมนตรีว่าการกระทรวงยุติธรรมเสนอให้สร้างนิคมอุตสาหกรรมที่บริษัทสามารถจ้างผู้ต้องขังให้มาทำงานในโรงงานแปรรูปอาหารทะเลเพื่อบรรเทาภาวะขาดแคลนแรงงานเนื่องจากการแพร่ระบาดของโรคโควิด 19 และลดความแออัดในเรือนจำ

ประเทศไทยประสบความยากลำบากในการขจัดการบังคับใช้แรงงานในอุตสาหกรรมอาหารทะเลซึ่งสามารถทำกำไรมหาศาล ในปี 2564 กระทรวงต่างประเทศของสหรัฐอเมริกาได้ลดอันดับประเทศไทยเป็น “Tier 2 Watch List” ตามรายงานสถานการณ์การค้ามนุษย์ (Trafficking in Persons Report: TIP Report) เนื่องจากสถานการณ์การบังคับใช้แรงงานข้ามชาติ โดยเฉพาะในภาคประมง แม้ว่าบริษัทอาหารทะเลไทยและผู้ซื้อชาวสหรัฐอเมริกาจะได้พัฒนาความคิดริเริ่มต่าง ๆ ขึ้นมาเพื่อขจัดการใช้แรงงานบังคับในอุตสาหกรรมอาหารทะเลไทย แต่เรายังคงได้รับรายงานเกี่ยวกับการละเมิดสิทธิอย่างต่อเนื่อง

GLJILRF เป็นองค์กรที่รวมตัวกันใหม่และทำงานเพื่อเพิ่มศักยภาพเชิงยุทธศาสตร์ข้ามภาคส่วนในห่วงโซ่มูลค่าโลกและในพื้นที่แนวเชื่อมระหว่างประเทศของการอพยพย้ายถิ่นของแรงงาน

คณะทำงานด้านอาหารทะเล (Seafood Working Group: SWG) เป็นเครือข่ายระดับโลกขององค์กรสิทธิมนุษยชน แรงงาน และสิ่งแวดล้อม ที่ทำงานร่วมกันเพื่อพัฒนาและรณรงค์สนับสนุนนโยบายของรัฐบาลที่มีประสิทธิภาพและการดำเนินการในระดับอุตสาหกรรม เพื่อหยุดปัญหาที่เกี่ยวเนื่องจากการแสวงหาผลประโยชน์จากแรงงาน การประมงผิดกฎหมาย และการประมงเกินขีดจำกัดในการค้าอาหารทะเลระหว่างประเทศ





ข้อเสนอแนะต่อรัฐบาลไทย บริษัทแหอวนไทย และผู้ซื้อในประเทศสหรัฐอเมริกาต่อไปนี้ถูกพัฒนาโดยองค์กรภาคประชาสังคมไทยและระหว่างประเทศที่มีความเชี่ยวชาญในประเด็นการบังคับใช้แรงงานในห่วงโซ่อุปทานระดับโลก


  1. รับประกันว่า สภาพการทำงานของผู้ต้องขังเป็นไปตามข้อกำหนดมาตรฐานขั้นต่ำของสหประชาชาติสำหรับการปฏิบัติต่อผู้ต้องขัง หรือข้อกำหนดเนลสันแมนเดลลา และข้อกำหนดสหประชาชาติว่าด้วยการปฏิบัติต่อผู้ต้องขังหญิงและมาตรการที่มิใช่การคุมขังสำหรับผู้กระทำผิดหญิง หรือข้อกำหนดกรุงเทพ โดยเฉพาะข้อกำหนดเนลสันแมนเดลลาที่ระบุว่า “จัดให้มีระบบจ่ยค่าตอบแทนในการทำงานของผู้ต้องขังอย่างเท่าเทียมและเป็นธรรม” และ “การใช้แรงงานในเรือนจำต้องไม่ก่อให้เกิดความเจ็บปวด”
  2. ปฏิบัติตามหลักการชี้แนะแห่งสหประชาชาติว่าด้วยธุรกิจกับสิทธิมนุษยชน โดยเฉพาะที่เกี่ยวกับหน้าที่ของรัฐในการคุ้มครองสิทธิมนุษยชนและรับประกันการเข้าถึงการเยียวยาด้วยวิธีในกระบวนการทางตุลาการ การปกครอง และนิติบัญญัติ
  3. บังคับใช้ “กฎกระทรวงว่าด้วยการคำนวณรายได้เป็นราคาเงินและการจ่ายเงินรางวัลให้แก่ผู้ต้องขัง ซึ่งการงานที่ได้ทำนั้นก่อให้เกิดรายได้ซึ่งคำนวณเป็นราคาเงินได้ พ.ศ. ๒๕๖๓” ซึ่งกำหนดให้ผู้ต้องขังได้รับเงินเป็นจำนวนร้อยละ 70 ของกำไรทั้งหมดจากงานที่ทำ
  4. หยุดแผนทั้งหมดในการจ้างงานผู้ต้องขังในนิคมอุตสาหกรรม รวมถึงแผนในลักษณะเดียวกันอื่น ๆ ในการจ้างงานผู้ต้องขังเพื่อบรรเทาภาวะการขาดแคลนแรงงาน
  5. ให้คำแนะนำและการฝึกอบรมแก่เจ้าหน้าที่เรือนจำเพื่อหยุดการใช้ความรุนแรงทางกายภาพในการบังคับผู้ต้องขังให้ทำงานหรือทำยอดอันไม่สมเหตุสมผล ข้อกำหนดเนลสันแมนเดลลาระบุว่า “ไม่ว่าในสถานการณ์ใดๆ จะต้องไม่มีการจำกัดเสรีภาพหรือการลงโทษทางวินัยใด ๆ ถึงขั้นเป็นการทรมานและการปฏิบัติหรือการลงโทษอื่น ๆ ที่โหดร้าย ไร้มนุษยธรรม หรือที่ย่ำยีศักดิ์ศรี โดยเฉพาะอย่างยิ่ง การปฏิบัติดังต่อไปนี้ต้องถือเป็นข้อห้าม (ก) การขังเดี่ยวโดยไม่มีกำหนดเวลา (ข) การขังเดี่ยวต่อเนื่องกันเป็นเวลานาน (ค) การบังคับให้ผู้ต้องขังอยู่ในห้องมืดหรือมีการเปิดไฟสว่างตลอด (ง) การลงโทษทางกายหรือการตัดทอนอาหารหรือน้ำดื่มของผู้ต้องขัง (จ) การลงโทษแบบกลุ่ม (Collective punishment)”
  6. ดำเนินการตรวจแรงงานอย่างสม่ำเสมอและสืบสวนข้อกล่าวหาการละเมิดสิทธิมนุษยชนที่เกี่ยวกับการใช้แรงงานในเรือนจำทุกกรณี พร้อมตีพิมพ์รายงานข้อค้นพบและให้การชดเชยเหยื่อการละเมิดอย่างเหมาะสม
  7. ให้คณะกรรมการสิทธิมนุษยชนแห่งชาติ (กสม.) และผู้ตรวจการแผ่นดินสามารถเข้าถึงผู้ต้องขังทุกคนอย่างอิสระ อย่างสอดคล้องกับความมุ่งมั่นของประเทศไทยที่ให้ไว้ในกระบวนการทบทวนสถานการณ์สิทธิมนุษยชน (Universal Periodic Review) รอบที่ 2
  8. ให้องค์กรพัฒนาเอกชนที่มีหน้าที่รับผิดชอบที่เกี่ยวข้องดำเนินการเยี่ยมเยือนสถานที่กักขัง สัมภาษณ์ผู้ต้องขัง และประเมินสภาพการทำงานโดยปราศจากอุปสรรคที่ไม่เหมาะสม


สำหรับบริษัทแหอวนไทย บริษัทขอนแก่นแหอวนและบริษัทเดชาพานิช

  1. รับประกันว่า สภาพการทำงานในกิจการของบริษัทของคุณและในห่วงโซ่อุปทานและความสัมพันธ์ทางธุรกิจของบริษัทสอดคล้องกับกฎหมายประเทศไทย กฎหมายสิทธิมนุษยชนระหว่างประเทศ และมาตรฐานแรงงานระหว่างประเทศ
  2. ปฏิบัติตามหลักการชี้แนะแห่งสหประชาชาติว่าด้วยธุรกิจกับสิทธิมนุษยชน โดยดำเนินการตรวจสอบสิทธิมนุษยชนอย่างรอบด้านในสถานประกอบการทุกแห่งที่ยังอยู่ภายใต้สัญญากับบริษัทของคุณ หรือที่กำลังเจรจาสัญญากันอยู่ ซึ่งรวมถึงการประเมินการละเมิดที่เกิดขึ้นหรืออาจเกิดขึ้น หยุดกิจกรรมที่มีส่วนทำให้เกิดการละเมิด เผยแพร่นโยบายและการดำเนินการด้านการตรวจสอบสิทธิมนุษยชนอย่างรอบด้าน และให้การเยียวยาที่มีประสิทธิภาพต่อการละเมิดแรงงานที่พบ
  3. ร่วมมือกับผู้ซื้อในประเทศสหรัฐอเมริกาในการให้การเยียวยาแก่อดีตผู้ต้องขังที่ทำงานถักเย็บแหอวนในสภาพการทำงานที่แสวงหาประโยชน์ภายใต้สัญญาของบริษัทคุณ โดยเฉพาะอย่างยิ่ง ในการให้การชดเชยสำหรับค่าจ้างค้างจ่าย
  4. มุ่งมั่นเผยแพร่ข้อมูลเกี่ยวกับห่วงโซ่อุปทานต่อสาธารณะ เพื่อรับประกันความโปร่งใสในห่วงโซ่อุปทานและสนับสนุนองค์กรด่านหน้าในการระบุและรายงานการแสวงหาประโยชน์จากแรงงานตั้งแต่ต้น


สำหรับผู้ซื้อในสหรัฐอเมริกา – Calusa Trading Co., Gramter International, Trident Seafoods, H. Christiansen Co., และ Fitec International U.S.

  1. ปฏิบัติตามหลักการชี้แนะแห่งสหประชาชาติว่าด้วยธุรกิจกับสิทธิมนุษยชน โดยดำเนินการตรวจสอบสิทธิมนุษยชนอย่างรอบด้านตลอดห่วงโซ่อุปทานและในสถานประกอบการทั้งหมดที่ยังอยู่ภายใต้สัญญากับบริษัทของคุณหรือสัญญาในอนาคตที่กำลังอยู่ในขั้นตอนเจรจา ซึ่งรวมถึงการประเมินการละเมิดที่เกิดขึ้นหรืออาจเกิดขึ้น หยุดกิจกรรมที่มีส่วนทำให้เกิดการละเมิด เผยแพร่นโยบายและการดำเนินการด้านการตรวจสอบสิทธิมนุษยชนอย่างรอบด้าน และให้การเยียวยาที่มีประสิทธิภาพต่อการละเมิดแรงงานที่พบ
  2. ร่วมมือกับบริษัทขอนแก่นแหอวนและเดชาพานิชในการให้การเยียวยาอดีตผู้ต้องหาที่ทำงานถักเย็บแหอวนในสภาพการทำงานที่แสวงหาประโยชน์ขณะที่อยู่ภายใต้สัญญากับบริษัทของคุณ โดยเฉพาะอย่างยิ่ง ในการให้การชดเชยสำหรับค่าจ้างค้างจ่าย
  3. มุ่งมั่นเผยแพร่ข้อมูลเกี่ยวกับห่วงโซ่อุปทานต่อสาธารณะ เพื่อรับประกันความโปร่งใสในห่วงโซ่อุปทานและสนับสนุนองค์กรด่านหน้าในการระบุและรายงานการแสวงหาประโยชน์จากแรงงานตั้งแต่ต้น
  4. ให้การสนับสนุนเชิงรุกแก่การนำโครงการการตรวจสอบการนำเข้าอาหารทะเลของประเทศสหรัฐอเมริกา (S. Seafood Import Monitoring Program: SIMP) ไปปฏิบัติ เพื่อรับประกันความโปร่งใสในห่วงโซ่อุปทานระดับโลกและเพื่อป้องกันกาเข้ามาของสินค้าที่มาจากการบังคับใช้แรงงานในตลาดสหรัฐอเมริกา



The Wi-Fi Now For Fishers’ Rights Campaign issued the following statement on the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade:

On Tuesday, May 23rd, dozens of Taiwanese unions, civil society organizations, and migrant worker organizations in Taipei issued their demands for the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade to the Taiwanese and U.S. governments, calling on the governments to protect labor and the environment as they negotiate the trade initiative this year.

The Wi-Fi Now For Fishers’ Rights Campaign, represented by the Taiwan Association for Human Rights (TAHR), Serve the People Association (SPA), and the Indonesian Seafarers Gathering Forum (FOSPI), participated in the action to ensure fishers’ rights in Taiwan are protected in the labor chapter of the trade initiative. Our coalition members called for the trade initiative to include special protections for migrant fishers in Taiwan’s distant-water fishing fleet, specifically: guaranteed and secure Wi-Fi communication while at sea to ensure their ILO fundamental labor rights, including the right to form and join unions.

Migrant workers are a major contributor to the Taiwanese economy, with more than 750,000 working in many key industries under unjust and abusive working conditions. More than 22,000 Southeast Asian migrants work in Taiwan’s fishing industry, which comprises over a thousand vessels that fish in all of the world’s oceans. Fishers at sea face forced labor and other abusive conditions that have driven them to organize unions – but without regular Wi-Fi access to connect them back to shore, the ocean is effectively a “no union zone” for too many of these workers. This violates international standards on fundamental labor rights that Taiwan and the United States have committed to upholding as part of the trade initiative.  Our campaign has called on the U.S. and Taiwan to ensure fishers can exercise their international labor rights, including freedom of association, by ensuring access to Wi-Fi communication at sea. 

Seafood production in Taiwan is a pivotal industry for labor and should be addressed in the trade initiative. Taiwan has the world’s second-biggest distant-water fleet and the U.S. is the second largest importer of seafood worldwide. Much of the tuna and other fish that fishers catch on Taiwanese vessels is sold in the U.S. and Taiwan’s fish has been listed on the U.S. Department of Labor List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor for the past two years.  

The Wi-Fi Campaign met with trade negotiators in the U.S. and Taiwan earlier this year and proposed concrete language for the labor chapter that would ensure fishers’ rights are protected in the trade initiative. During this week’s action, the delegation brought their demands to the Executive Yuan, Legislative Yuan and the American Institute of Taiwan (AIT). 

We launched our international campaign to support migrant fishers in their fight for Wi-Fi because the fishers’ have named it as a key component in their fight for their fundamental labor rights at sea. They face extremely severe abuses in Taiwan’s fishing industry, which have been documented by the U.S. government and other actors. Last year, the Biden Administration issued a high-level memorandum identifying forced labor as a major issue in distant water fishing, especially “Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated” or “IUU” fishing.  

We urge the Executive Yuan and the Biden administration to ensure that the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade contains commitments to fundamental labor rights for all workers, including freedom of association, health and safety protections, and elimination of forced labor and discrimination against migrant workers. We will continue our advocacy as negotiations continue. 


The Wi-Fi Now For Fishers’ Rights Campaign is made up of  U.S., Taiwanese and Indonesian allies, including the Indonesian Seafarers Gathering Forum, or Forum Silaturahmi Pelaut Indonesia (FOSPI), Global Labor Justice – International Labor Rights Forum (GLJ-ILRF), Taiwan Association for Human Rights (TAHR), Stella Maris Kaohsiung, Serve the People Association (SPA), and Humanity Research Consultancy (HRC).


Click here for more info about the Wi-Fi Now for Fishers’ Rights at Sea campaign.

Statement from organizations in the Seafood Working Group on Thai Government announcement that it will ban the practice of using forced prison labor to make fishing nets:

“Following a petition our international coalition submitted to the Biden Administration on February 11, alongside media pressure, the Thai government says it will end the use of forced labor in prisons. The petition called on the U.S. government to ban the import of fishing nets made by companies that use forced prison labor in Thailand and came after months of investigative work and legal analysis. This is a victory we share with everyone fighting for workers’ rights in Thailand and in the seafood industry around the world. We will continue our work to ensure Thailand follows through on its pledge. It is commendable that the Department of Corrections will establish labor committees in all of Thailand’s 143 prisons. These could be strengthened through public release of findings and by allowing independent inspection bodies access to all prisons.  We are also calling on U.S. seafood giant Trident Seafoods, which bought nets from one of the implicated companies, to commit to upholding international labor rights standards, to conduct human rights due diligence throughout its entire supply chain, and to provide effective remedy to workers for any labor violations found.”



GLJILRF is a newly merged organization that brings strategic capacity to cross-sectoral work on global value chains and labor migration corridors.

The Seafood Working Group (SWG) is a global coalition of human rights, labor and environmental organizations that work together to develop and advocate for effective government policies and industry actions to end the related problems of labor exploitation, illegal fishing and overfishing in the international seafood trade. 

For Immediate Release

June 5, 2023

Rachel Cohen, GLJ-ILRF,
Tanya Brooks, Greenpeace USA Senior Communications Specialist, P: 703-342-9226, E:

Ahead of TIP Report, Labor Rights Activists Urge U.S. to Call for Thailand and Taiwan to Protect Migrant Workers and End Forced Labor in Seafood Industry

Seafood Working Group Recommends U.S. Downgrading Taiwan to ‘Tier 2’ and Thailand to ‘Tier 2 Watchlist’ in the 2023 Trafficking in Persons Report

WASHINGTON, DC (June 5, 2023) – Global Labor Justice – International Labor Rights Forum (GLJ-ILRF), Greenpeace USA, and allies in the Seafood Working Group (SWG) today announced their findings of labor rights violations, forced labor, and human trafficking of migrant workers in Thailand and Taiwan and called on the U.S. Department of State to downgrade both countries in its 2023 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report in order to hold the governments accountable for these abuses.

“In our submissions, workers and their allies make clear that continuous barriers to migrant workers’ ability to exercise their fundamental labor rights, including discriminatory legal frameworks, short-term guest worker policies, and misconduct by authorities, must be addressed to end exploitation,” said Jennifer (JJ) Rosenbaum, Executive Director of GLJ-ILRF.We intend that the submissions to the State Department bring workers’ experiences into policy-making spaces in the U.S. and in Thailand and Taiwan. Our experience shows that ensuring workers’ fundamental rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining prevents situations of exploitation that lead to forced labor from occurring in the first place.”

Tefere Gebre, Chief Program Officer for Greenpeace USA, said, “For many years, the Greenpeace network has documented serious issues of human trafficking and forced labor in the Taiwanese distant water fishing industry. While lives are at stake, governments and businesses have not addressed these issues with the urgency and resources they require. The revelations in our submission detail issues happening right now and should deepen concerns about the high-risk nature of the seafood supply chain. We call on the U.S. government to increase its monitoring of seafood imports and strengthen efforts to prevent these harms from occurring in the first place. Companies that source these products must prioritize the safety and wellbeing of workers in their supply chains, and ensure their customers receive products free from forced labor and modern slavery.”

Thailand falls short of minimum standards 

The SWG recommends that the U.S. downgrade Thailand to the Tier 2 Watchlist in 2023 as it  continues to fall short of the minimum standards the U.S. has set under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) to eliminate forced labor. The Government of Thailand has not provided evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons compared to the previous year, including not adequately adopting the majority of the TIP Office’s Prioritized Recommendations outlined in the 2022 TIP Report.

The Government of Thailand committed in August 2022 to granting migrant workers the legal right to establish labor unions as part of its anti-trafficking efforts, but it has not fulfilled its promise. The government also adopted anti-trafficking measures intended to strengthen the identification of survivors of forced labor, but has not effectively implemented these new policies on the ground. The Thailand submission documents 17 cases of potential forced labor, including cases in which workers are unable to resign due to document retention, withholding of wages, physical violence, debt bondage, or death threats.

“The Thai government needs to ensure migrant workers are paid adequate wages, do not have to pay high fees to brokers, and are not harassed by authorities, as we need decent jobs here because it is not safe to return to Myanmar,” said a female seafood processing worker and member of the Migrant Workers’ Rights Network (MWRN) in Thailand. 

“After progressive parties won most of the votes in Thailand’s recent general election, we are hopeful a future government will implement policies to protect migrant workers’ rights, particularly rights to unionization for all workers, including migrant workers, said Roisai Wongsuban, Senior Program Advisor at The Freedom Fund. 

Taiwan has made insufficient efforts to remain at Tier 1

The SWG also recommends that Taiwan should be downgraded to Tier 2 as it fails to meet the TVPA minimum standards but is making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards. To maintain a Tier 1 ranking, governments need to demonstrate appreciable progress each year in combating trafficking. During the reporting period, the Taiwanese government made efforts to improve the working conditions in its distant water fishing industry, however, these have not been appreciable. The findings of this submission show that Taiwan has not made progress on the majority of the TIP Office’s Prioritized Recommendations from their 2022 Report.

“The government has made some improvements in recent years, such as installing CCTV on vessels, increasing crew salaries, and requiring life jackets. However, migrant fishers still remain totally isolated from the outside world when sailing on the high seas for months. Communication access through Wi-Fi on board is the most powerful thing to protect workers’ rights, prevent forced labor, and maintain the mental health of workers on the high seas,” said Ahmed Mudzakir, Chairman, Indonesian Seafarers’ Gathering Forum (FOSPI).

“The 21st Century Initiative on trade between Taiwan and the U.S. is quickly being developed. To facilitate a successful trade initiative between the U.S. and Taiwan and to prevent any products sourced from Taiwan involving labor exploitation, the Taiwanese government should continue to improve its regulatory practices in advancing the rights of distant water fishers. This means ending the two-tiered employment system, properly regulating the recruitment agencies to implement the ILO’s fair recruitment principles, and ensuring internet access and fishers’ freedom of association rights on the high seas,” said Lennon Ying-Dah Wong, Director of the Dept. of Politics on Migrant Workers, Serve the People Association (SPA). 

There have been well-documented cases of labor abuse in the Taiwanese fishing industry. For two years in a row, the U.S. Department of Labor placed Taiwan-caught fish on its list of goods produced by child labor or forced labor. In September 2022, Greenpeace East Asia published the report, Fake My Catch, which documented forced labor indicators on six Taiwan-owned or – flagged fishing vessels supplying to Bumble Bee Seafoods, including excessive overtime and retention of identity documents. Over two-thirds of the surveyed workers reportedly had their wages withheld.  

Click here to read the comments from the Seafood Working Group to the U.S. State Department on Thailand and Taiwan


Global Labor Justice International Labor Rights Forum (GLJ – ILRF) is a non-governmental organization that works transnationally to advance policies and laws that protect decent work; to strengthen freedom of association and workers’ ability to advocate for their rights; and to hold corporations accountable for labor rights violations in their supply chains.

Greenpeace USA is part of a global network of independent campaigning organizations that use peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future. Greenpeace USA is committed to transforming the country’s unjust social, environmental, and economic systems from the ground up to address the climate crisis, advance racial justice, and build an economy that puts people first. Learn more at

The Seafood Working Group (SWG) is a global coalition of human rights, labor and environmental organizations that work together to develop and advocate for effective government policies and industry actions to end the related problems of labor exploitation, illegal fishing and overfishing in the international seafood trade.