WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. State Department said Wednesday that forced labor on Thai fishing vessels has continued in the past year despite legal reforms and arrests following an Associated Press investigation into the country’s seafood industry.
The department made the assessment in its annual global review of human rights practices, released in Washington by Secretary of State John Kerry. The report covers the 2015 calendar year.
The report finds that the Thai government has reaffirmed its “zero tolerance” policy for human trafficking and updated many laws that enhance regulatory powers and increase punishment for violations. An amended anti-trafficking law provides protection to whistleblowers and gives authorities the power to halt operations temporarily or suspend licenses of businesses and vehicles involved in human trafficking.