Corrections Department denies Reuters forced labor story
The Corrections Department is fighting back after a Reuters report last week painted a stark portrait of forced labor, violence and coercion in the Thai prison system. The department denied the existence of such things as threatening and physically assaulting detainees and that prisoners are not required to work as mentioned in the Reuters article.
The article described inmates in Thai prisons forced to make fishing nets for private companies under threat of extended prison terms or beatings. But the Department of Corrections says they simply offer job training where inmates can learn job skills useful in different jobs. They say it gives prisoners the knowledge and skills to build careers after release, as well as behavior development to keep prisoners out of trouble.
The Thai government was called by ta International Federation for Human Rights to investigate the practices of the detention centers as this could be considered a violation of the laws on trafficking and forced labor. But the Corrections Department listed job training opportunities that they claim earn inmates’ income, citing auto maintenance training for less than 1,500 baht per month, fruit sorting, in-center training. calls, up to a bakery training program that earns nearly 14,000 baht per month.
The Department of Corrections spokesperson urged the public not to trust the Reuters article which paints a grim picture of Thai prisons and denies any human rights violations, promising to defend prison systems against any accusation in Thailand or the world.
“Coercing and beating inmates on the job is not the direction of the Department of Corrections and it is an unacceptable act. All detainees should be treated fairly under human rights laws which have always been a priority for the Department of Prison Services and the Ministry of Justice. Therefore, the Department of Corrections would like to ask the public to have confidence in the process of inmate behavior development. The Department is always ready to provide information to all national and international sectors to show their commitment and intention to treat Thai prisoners.
THE SOURCE: Pattaya News