Fighting human trafficking in the Thai fishing industry
Human trafficking has been taking place for decades within the Thai fishing industry. Undocumented migrant laborers are recruited from Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos to hopefully be able to send money home to their families. Once aboard the fishing vessel, they are expected to work 18 hours a day, 7 days a week, sometimes getting paid, sometimes not. If a worker complains or becomes unable to work, some captains throw them overboard as an expendable asset.
Media exposure to these practices caused world-wide outrage and the European Union threatened sanctions against the entire Thai fishing industry. To forestall economic disaster and eradicate an immoral practice, the Marine Department of the Royal Thai Government teamed with iRespond to develop a system to account for every worker leaving from or returning to a Thai port. 170,000 migrant fishermen are currently enrolled through the iRespond system, providing basic human rights to a population that previously experienced human-slavery conditions.