Abuse of migrant workers in Thai Chicken production

The four major companies producing broiler chicken in Thailand have been shown to violate labour rights in the production facilities. The companies Charoen Pokphand Foods PCL, Laemthong Corporation Group, Centaco Group and Saha Farms Group are found to have in particular, violated the rights of vulnerable migrant workers in the industry.

An investigation by Finnwatch in September 2015 looked at six large factories in six Thai provinces. The resultant report details that many workers in the selected factories were charged high recruitment fees which they have to pay back through their wages; they have their toilet visits monitored; have no paid overtime despite many hours of overtime worked; have no copies of their employment contracts; the rooms provided for migrant workers are in poor condition and workplace safety is also a significant concern to workers.

According to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, not only companies that produce and handle broiler chicken, but also actors involved in its procurement (importers, food industry companies that further process meat, distributors, wholesale and retail stores, restaurants, as well as national and municipal public procurement units) share responsibility for ensuring that the human rights of workers at production facilities at the beginning of the product’s supply chain are realised.

Nearly 40 per cent of Thailand’s broiler exports are exported to Europe. In 2014, Thailand’s three largest countries of export of broiler meat were German, Brazil and Finland. (( USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, “Thailand Poultry and Products Annual 2014”, GAIN Report Number: TH4076, can be read at: http://gain.fas.usda.gov/ Recent%20GAIN%20Publications/Poultry%20and%20 Products%20Annual_Bangkok_Thailand_9-2-2014.pdf and Uljas database for foreign trade statistics, http://uljas. tulli.fi (viewed on 28.10.2015) )) European importers and those throughout the supply chain must ensure that due diligence processes are applied to ensure that workers rights and human rights are included.

The full report is available here: http://www.finnwatch.org/images/pdf/chickenproductionThailand.pdf

Charoen Pokphand foods shares on the US market: http://www.morningstar.com/stocks/pinx/cpoky/quote.html