National Broadcast by General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister-May 8, 2015
Government launches command center to stop illegal fishing

PM Updates on Progress to Combat Human Trafficking and IUU Fishing

English subtitle of PM weekly televised address on 8 May 2015

Start at 4.36 minute

Next, I would like to address the problems of illegal fishing and human trafficking and inform you of some developments. Although the two issues are different, but they are connected. Since Thailand was issued a yellow card by the EU, the government has been deploying several measures without hesitation in order to tackle these problems. Some laws that were outdated need to be modernized. The power under Article 44 will be used to revise these laws along with other laws in order to allow the government’s work to be more effective.

In terms of policy, the government has formed a committee in charge of combating human trafficking and illegal fishing. The committee is chaired by Gen Prawit Wongsuwan, DPM for national security and Minister for Defense, who gives out policies and guidelines.

In terms of legislation, the government has pushed for the anti-illegal fishing act which is now published in the government gazette and will take effect on 27 June 2015. The state is also looking to promulgate organic laws to be enforced alongside the anti-illegal fishing law. When in effect, perpetrators will face both civil and criminal charges.

At the operational level, the NCPO has utilized power granted by Article 44 to establish Command Centre for Combatting Illegal Fishing (CCCIF). The center is working under my supervision, with the Commander in Chief of the Thai Navy as head. The center can address IUU problems such as registering workers and fishing crews, installing VMS, and installing Port in-Port out system. There are more than 300 sea ports across Thailand. All arrivals and departures will be recorded. Crews and equipment will be inspected. Boats will leave and come back on schedule. All of these activities will be recorded for future inspection. The government has also assigned the Ministry of Agriculture to draw up a national action plan and propose it to the Cabinet meeting which will be held again next week. We never had this kind of action plan before. In the past, each ministry worked by itself and never focused at the national level.The government has also been sending out delegations to create understanding and enhance confidence in Thailand’s measures to combat IUU problems. We inform them about our intentions towards tackling the IUU problems.

As for the deaths of Rohingyas, I would like to inform you that the government will address this crime seriously. The Human trafficking problem has been going on for a long time. Security officers have been on high alert, but due to an ineffective system, it has been difficult to address the problem. Human trafficking takes many factors into account as it involves migrant workers, international laws, and others. The whole system will be overhauled. Trafficking rings and all individuals involved will be brought to justice. We will crack down on the whole network regardless of who they are. There is a supplier which is the provider in one country. There is a passageway which is Thailand. And then there is a buyer which is a third party in the destination country. Some officials are also involved in the process. The Royal Thai Police has transferred a total of 38 officers believed to be involved in the trafficking of these Rohingya migrants. The Interior Ministry is also working on this issue. We cannot deny that the problem does not exist. I have always stressed that national security is our first priority. Officers need to be performing at the very best. The government is responsible for mobilizing efforts to tackle human trafficking. Please have faith in us as we are committed to this task. The government will adhere to the rule of law when providing humanitarian aid to the victims. Wrongdoers have been punished. We promise to bring masterminds to justice as well. Authorities involved will face disciplinary action and criminal charges.

End at 9.06 minute