Seafood caught by slaves aboard Thai boats is making its way into the US supply chain in part because of poor enforcement of a US law banning the import of goods made with forced labor, according to the Associated Press.
Through an investigation, the news agency, found horrifying human rights violations and rampant human trafficking in Thailand surrounding the fishing trade. Despite a law banning the import of slave-labor goods, the AP says fish caught by these slaves has made its way into major US retailers and processed into brand-name products. The law has been exploited in part because of loopholes.
Earlier this week, the European Commission issued Thailand a formal notice lambasting the country for not taking sufficient measures to fight illegal fishing. The commission gave Thailand six months to clean up illegal and unregulated fishing or face being labeled uncooperative.
“Dialogue and cooperation is the commission's instrument of choice to solve the issues, but if a country neglects its duties under international law and fails to rectify the situation, then the commission may proceed to identification, leading to trade measures,” the commission said.
Thai officials responded by issuing a statement that they are quickly working to seek an end to unregulated fishing, according to the AP.