Thailand Urged to Drop Charges against Rights Defenders

The global labor and human rights communities are urging the government of Thailand to drop charges against three human rights defenders who recently released documentation of torture in the country’s three southern provinces, home to a Muslim and ethnic Malay majority. A decision by Thailand’s public prosecutor on whether to prosecute Somchai Hom La-or, Pornpen… [READ MORE]

Report: Thai Labor Laws Must Include Migrant Workers

Migrant workers around the world have few, if any rights on the job. In Thailand, where migrant workers are not covered by the nation’s labor laws, a new report argues that by including migrant workers in Thai labor laws and allowing them the freedom to form unions and collectively bargain, the country would be in… [READ MORE]

Trafficking Report Highlights Uzbekistan Abuses

Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, two countries where forced labor in cotton harvests is rampant, have been downgraded to the lowest ranking in the U.S. State Department’s 2016 Trafficking in Persons Report released this morning. The report also downgraded Myanmar (Burma) but boosted the ranking of Thailand, which a coalition of labor and human rights groups says… [READ MORE]

On Migrant Workers Day: Strong with a Union in Hong Kong

When Pobsuk Gasing migrated to Hong Kong from Thailand in 1991 for employment as a domestic worker, her employer was abusive, she says. Yet Pobsuk was unable to change jobs because breaking her contract meant losing her legal right to stay in the country. Her husband had died and she needed the salary to send… [READ MORE]

Thai Official Gets 22 Years for Human Trafficking

Nurul Islam and three other men from his village in Burma’s Rakhine state believed the Rohingya brokers who promised to take them to Malaysia for jobs. Instead, the men were herded at gunpoint deep into a forest with 350 other migrant women, men and children, and told if they did not pay up to $2,300… [READ MORE]

Labor Migration Conference Starts Monday!

Human rights lawyer Preeda Tongcumnum is among the more than 200 migrant worker advocates gathering in Bogar, Indonesia, this week to take part in the Solidarity Center labor migration conference. As assistant to the secretary general at the Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF), Tongcumnum helps migrant workers in Thailand understand their legal rights and… [READ MORE]

Thai Factory Workers Dance on the Job in New Video

Suayden, a young woman from rural Thailand, moves to Bangkok and gets a job at a factory. Soon, she develops back pain and other job-related injuries that make it too painful to work. So what should she do? She joins with co-workers to ask the boss for improved work stations—but not before dancing through the… [READ MORE]

Kaewvarn Elected Head of Largest Thai Labor Group

The dynamic Thai union activist Sawit Kaewvarn last week was overwhelmingly elected general secretary of the General Assembly of the State Enterprises Workers’ Relations Confederation (SERC), Thailand’s largest trade union organization. In a letter to Kaewvarn, congratulating him on his election, Solidarity Center Executive Director Shawna Bader-Blau said that “we have tremendous respect for the… [READ MORE]

45 Groups Protest Prison Labor on Thai Fishing Boats

Some 45 labor groups and other nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) sent a letter to the Thai prime minister yesterday protesting a proposed plan to use prison labor on fishing boats. Saying the plan threatens the human rights of prisoners and likely goes against the International Labor Organization’s convention on forced labor, the letter states: “The Thai government… [READ MORE]

Human Trafficking Fueled by Migrant Worker Vulnerability

Migrant workers’ high vulnerability to human trafficking is one of three main factors involved in labor trafficking in Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia, said Neha Misra,  Solidarity Center senior specialist for Migration and Human Trafficking in testimony on Capitol Hill July 7. The other two elements involve a lack of investigations, prosecutions and convictions for forced labor (linked to corruption… [READ MORE]

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