Thailand is one of the biggest seafood exporters in the world. However, working conditions in the seafood industry have been quite contentious, and forced labor and other rights abuses are widespread in Thailand’s fishing fleets and processing sectors despite government and industry commitments to undertake comprehensive reforms.
Especially migrant fishermen from neighbouring countries in Southeast Asia are often trafficked into fishing work, prevented from changing employers, not paid on time and paid below the minimum wage. Migrant workers do not receive Thai labor law protections and do not have the right to form a labor union. 
Forced labor appears in different forms: physically or due to the threats like retention of documents, debt bondage, excessive overtime or withholding of wages; and in fisheries, it is also linked with the race to the fish. [4, 15, 16, 17]. Human Rights Watch argues that the steps taken by the Thai government and organisations such as National Fisheries Association are not sufficient. 
One of the most significant examples of reforms undertaken by the Thai government has been the legalisation of migrant fishers' status in Thailand by issuing them identity cards, known as "pink cards". The pink card holders were supposed to receive all their rights and protection ensured by the Thai Labor Law. However, these cards are taken by the employer or captain who usually do not allow them to take their pink cards back neither to change their jobs. This shows that the reforms have vastly failed .
The serious situation of forced and even slave labor in Thai seafood industry has become more apparent and drew more international attention especially after the news of Associate Press published in 2014 , and it has become a bigger issue thanks to the work and struggle of a range of justice organisations including Migrant Worker Rights Network and Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) and official reports of human rights organisations such as Human Rights Watch .
In 2013, an ILO survey of nearly 600 workers in the Thai fishing industry found that almost none had a signed contract, and about 40 percent had wages cut without explanation. In 2014, the unlawful acts and terrible conditions endured by migrant workers have been documented, who often are tricked by labor recruiters and sold into bondage. Estimates of migrant workers in Thailand range from 200,000 to 500,000 [1, 2, 5, 7, 8].
US and European based organisations such Environmental Justice Foundation and Fairfood International made pressure on retailers such as Nestle, Lidl, Tesco, among others, and on different political actors in order to avoid human rights abuses in Thai seafood sector and in the global seafood chain. However, these initiatives and reports have usually received negative reactions from the Thai officials such as Thailand's Ministry of Affairs. Even though in 2014, the Ministry of Labor in Thailand took legal actions against 156 labor brokers who violated labor laws and arrested 107 illegal brokers, Environmental Justice Foundation's representatives claimed that “Producers and consumers of Thai seafood are embroiled in one of the most outrageous social and ecological crimes of the 21st century. Ecosystem decline and slavery exist in a vicious cycle” .
Moreover, in 2015, around 45 labor groups and NGOs including the International Trade Union Confederation and the AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations) sent a letter to the Thai prime minister protesting a proposed plan to use prison labor on fishing boats. The letter states that the plan threatens the human rights of prisoners and goes against the International Labor Organization’s convention on forced labor .
Thus, the entire chain of Asian seafood production and processing based on forced and slave labor and its connections with the retailers in UK and US have been documented [2, 5, 7, 8]. Thanks to dedicated investigations and growing struggle to protect human and labor rights in seafood industry, more than 2,000 trapped fishermen have been freed in 2015, a dozen people have been arrested who were responsible for human rights violations, and millions of dollars have been seized and proposals for new federal laws have been proposed .