There are an estimated 610,000 people living in conditions of modern slavery in Thailand (GSI 2018). Men, women and children are victims of human trafficking for forced labour in the Thai fishing industry, subjected to physical abuse, excessive and inhumane working hours, sleep and food deprivation, forced use of methamphetamines and long trips at sea confined to the vessel. Due to the fishing industry relying on trans-shipments at sea to reduce expenditure, some find themselves trapped on long-haul trawlers for years at a time. This makes the monitoring of enslaves labour on fishing vessels costly and difficult. 201
Charya was trafficked on to a Thai fishing vessel where he was forced to work long hours and denied medication. He tells of his experience of illness on the vessel.
I was the one who got sick often. I had stomachache and asked to go home, but they did not let me. I had stomachache most of the time. The only medications they had were paracetamol and atacil (a Thai Stomach medicine}. These did not work on my stock. When I was sick they accused me of being lazy.
Everyone was sick on the boat, because of the lack of sanitations, and because we didn’t eat enough cooked food. Our food was mostly raw, including crabs, shrimp and prawns.
Narrative provided by Hagar International