Migrant Workers Day: Strong with a Union in Hong Kong, SAR

When Pobsuk Gasing migrated to Hong Kong, SAR 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… [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]

Trafficking in Persons Report Wake-Up Call to Governments

The U.S. State Department’s decision to downgrade Thailand, Malaysia and Venezuela in its 2014 Trafficking in Persons report “should compel (those governments) and other countries with serious human trafficking problems to step up their efforts to fight this horrific human rights crime,” says Melysa Sperber, director of the Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking (ATEST)…. [READ MORE]

Thailand Among Countries Failing to Address Human Trafficking

Thailand, Malaysia and Venezuela failed to comply with the minimum standards to address human trafficking over the past year, according to the State Department in its annual Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP) released today. The three countries were downgraded from the department’s “Tier 2 Watch List” to “Tier 3.” Such a downgrade makes the countries liable to… [READ MORE]

Workers Stunned at Thailand’s Vote Against Forced Labor Protocol

June 16—Update: The Thai government has indicated it wants to reverse its decision. June 13, 2014—Thailand’s State Enterprises Workers’ Relations Confederation (SERC) is expressing shock that the country’s new government was the only nation to vote against a new legally binding treaty requiring punishment of perpetrators of forced labor. The International Labor Organization (ILO) on… [READ MORE]