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Parliamentary questions
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8 September 2015
E-008916/2015(ASW)
Answer given by Vice-President Mogherini on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-008916/2015

The European Commission (EC) had already warned Thailand in October 2014 of the potential risk of being identified as a non-cooperating country in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. It has proposed a tailor-made action plan to the Thai authorities and provided them with reasonable time to take measures to rectify the situation in areas pertaining to fisheries legal framework, fisheries management system, monitoring, controlling and surveillance of fisheries and traceability of fisheries transactions. The fight against IUU fishing is and remains a political priority for the EC. The IUU Regulation does not address labour issues in seafood supply chains, but the EC believes that improvements in the fisheries control system will by default improve the control of labour conditions in seafood supply chains.

Labour issues in the Thai fishing sector are addressed systematically with the Thai authorities as well as with the International Labour Organisation (ILO). The authorities have taken some steps to address the issue of forced labour, but additional efforts are required. The EC is working on interventions to assist Thailand to address key labour shortcomings in the sector to comply with the core labour standards, in particular regarding worst forms of child labour and forced labour. Working conditions for migrant workers are also addressed.

Labour issues in the Thai fishing sector will remain a priority in diplomatic and trade relations with Thailand. The EC also aims to include in the future EU-Thailand FTA a robust chapter on Trade and Sustainable Development covering labour and environment aspects. The EC is not aware of any EU-flagged fishing vessel operating in Thai waters.

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