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LPN, Sompong Srakaew and Labour rights in Seafood Industry in Thailand

Thailand has over 2mil migrant workers with 80% of those coming from Myanmah. In the fishing industry the largest group affected by slavery in the seafood industry are people from Myanmah. Sompong Srakaew founded the Labour Rights Promotion Network (LPN) in 2006 because of the injustices he saw in the treatment of migrant workers in Thailand’s seafood processing industry. Sompong began working on migrant worker issues as early as the 1990s, after graduating with a degree in social work.

LPN’s ultimate goal is to empower workers and their communities and improve working conditions across the seafood-processing sector. LPN is actively establishing partnerships with the private sector in and around Samut Sakhon province to promote greater supply chain transparency and foster improved working conditions. The organization’s “Worker Voice Program” raises awareness about labour rights among Thai and migrant workers. LPN is also developing The Fishermen Centre Prototype to address the root cause of human trafficking and IUU fishing in Southeast Asia’s fishing sector. MAST's immediate goals include the establishment of fishermen drop-in centres at major ports where fishing workers can receive direct assistance (legal aid, health services, food & shelter), access information about their rights, and organize into their own volunteer networks. LPN has the vision to expand to 22 coastal provinces.

LPN, MAST, and Chicago-Kent College of Law are also developing the “Digital Intake @ Fishermen Centre” to set the prototype of an official grievance mechanism for more convenience and the best benefit for fishermen. Working with MAST, Chicago-Kent, and TMFG, the plan is to use this new approach to develop the drop-in centre into a real “Fishermen Centre” for the digital era.

Prawn and Fish Curry

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Ingredients

  • 1 Tbs (15 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (250 ml) chopped shallots
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
  • 1 Tbs (15 ml) finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 2-3 tsp (30-45 ml) Thai red curry paste, or to taste
  • 1 15-ounce (425 g) can coconut milk
  • 1 Tbs (15 ml) fish sauce
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) grated lime zest
  • 2 Tbs (30 ml) lime juice
  • 1 lb (450 g) firm white fish such as Snapper or gem or Ling, cut into 1-inch (3 cm) chunks
  • 1 lb (450 g) large Prawns, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • Cooked jasmine rice
  • Lime wedges for garnish

Method

  • Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over moderate heat. Saute the shallots and bell pepper until tender but not brown, about
  • 5 minutes. Stir in the curry paste, coconut milk, fish sauce, lime zest, and lime juice. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add the fish and prawns and simmer gently until the fish and shrimp are firm and opaque, about 5 minutes. Gently stir in the basil and coriander and serve over jasmine rice, garnished with lime wedges.
  • Serves 4 to 6.
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