Thailand scrambles to register illegal fishery workers

Migrant workers sorting seafood at a port in Thailand's Samut Sakhon province. Thailand is rushing to get an estimated 1.6 million illegal migrant labourers who work in its fisheries, as well as construction and agriculture sectors - the majority of
Migrant workers sorting seafood at a port in Thailand's Samut Sakhon province. Thailand is rushing to get an estimated 1.6 million illegal migrant labourers who work in its fisheries, as well as construction and agriculture sectors - the majority of whom are from neighbouring Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos - documented before European Commission inspectors come calling on April 4.PHOTO: REUTERS

The clock is ticking for Thailand as it cleans up its fishery business before European Commission inspectors arrive next month to check its progress in dealing with illegal fishing and forced labour.

The biggest headache for the Thai authorities, before the inspectors' visit on April 4, is how to get an estimated 1.6 million illegal migrant labourers who work in its fisheries, as well as construction and agriculture sectors - the majority of whom are from neighbouring Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos - documented before the end of this month.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 19, 2018, with the headline 'Thailand scrambles to register illegal fishery workers'. Print Edition | Subscribe