are informed by
15 years of direct,
LPN works to protect the rights of migrants in Thailand, including the right to health, safe work, education, and social services. Over 15 years, we have found the most effective ways of conducting raids, building a wide and trusted intelligence network, creating safe spaces for migrant children to learn, protecting women and children, and develop engaging and informative media for migrants
in their native language.
These programs are successful because they put the needs and protection of the affected communities at the center, and have been meticulously refined each year to be more and more effective.
Raids, rescue and
We are still getting distress calls.
These projects include the investigation and rescue of victims on land and at sea, and offers post-rescue services such as healthcare, trauma services, shelter and legal support.
Not enough is being done to combat human rights abuse and trafficking.
LPN conducts research, development and translation of rights-education materials, advocates for policy change, and conducts labour rights training.
advocacy and media
Migrant children are often cut off from education.
These projects include creating safe spaces for migrant children to learn, integrate into local schools and build a new life in Thailand.
Raids, Rescue & Victim Assistance
Indonesian Rescue Operations
Combating the exploitation of fishermen in Indonesian waters has been a focal point of LPN for many years. In between 2006 and 2014, LPN received a total of 128 reports of labour abuse of fishermen leaving from Thailand to work in Indonesian waters. A total of 12 rescue operations were conducted in Indonesia from 2014 to 2016 to rescue Thai & migrant fishermen stranded on the islands of Ambon and Benjina. The rescues culminated in a highly publicized rescue operation in Indonesian waters that brought international attention to human trafficking in Thailand. A rescue team was organized consisting of reporters, LPN, International Organization of Migration (IOM) and the Indonesian government. This effort led to the successful release of more than 2,000 captives; an unprecedented scale of human trafficking.
Once LPN is made aware of severe cases of abuse, it will coordinate with the appropriate government agencies and police divisions to plan and implement a workplace raid. LPN has raided many factories over the years, such as a shrimp processing facility that freed 66 Burmese workers who were in forced labor.
Temporary and Long-term Shelters
Our main office in Mahachai also functions as a short or long-term shelter for victims. The shelter is a safe place for victims of violence (women, children, and labourers) in the process of sorting out migration documentation, legal proceedings, government petitions for compensation or other redress. Those pursuing a medical or wage complaint case against employers typically stay longer, as the legal process can take about 5 months to complete.
We are currently in the process of building a rescue center for fishermen that can offer a comfortable, safe place for them to receive trauma counseling, await their trials, learn new skills, receive health care and participate in group counseling to help them transition peacefully back into society. We are actively seeking funding to complete the building and cover operational, maintenance and programming costs.
Watchdog & Intelligence Network
LPN receives information on workplace abuse from its casework and community network. It is often the first to hear of new cases and to bring them to the attention of the government and police, particularly the DSI (Department of Special Investigations). 4 of the 6 prosecutions alluded to in the U.S. State Department’s 2017 TIP Report were referred to the government by LPN.
Community volunteer “Watchdogs” are migrant workers that we have trained to monitor their workplaces and communities, recognize abuse, give advice, and refer people to LPN. Thus far the network has consisted of Burmese workers; we plan to create new networks of Cambodian and Thai watchdog volunteers. There are currently over 100 workers organized in 20 migrant network groups across Thailand in provinces such as Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Trat and Rayong. Those members based in Samut Sakhon meet at LPN every Sunday to discuss current issues and changes in government policy. We will be training more volunteers in more communities and strengthening the networks between them.
Labour Rights Advocacy and Media
Advocacy & Lobbying with the Government & Civil Society Organizations (CSOs)
Thailand is infamous for its problems with human trafficking. The issues can in large part be attributed to systemic failures in regulation. The last few years have seen a dramatic impetus for reform as we have witnessed fallouts from international scandals, changes of policy under President Obama, desperate government reforms, and the explosion of reactionary Corporate Social Responsibility. Chief among them is the Seafood Taskforce, an industry-led coalition which aims to establish credible tracing and auditing systems, develop a model code of conduct, and drive regional improvements in fishery. LPN believes civil society is a catalyst for change.
This is why it is part of a Thai CSO Coalition, which began in 2016 with a mission to eradicate modern-day slavery and IUU fishing in the Thai seafood supply chains. Under the direction of Oxfam, the Coalition has brought together 12 environmental and social NGOs to share best practices, co-create strategies, and collectively engage the Thai government and leading seafood buyers and sellers.
LPN regularly engages with the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, the Ministry of Labour, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in order to eliminate the trafficking of persons in nine seriously affected provinces around the Gulf of Thailand. The foundation is also a member of a committee within the Ministry of Labour that seeks to resolve issues of child labour and forced labour in the shrimp fishing industry, the seafood processing industry, and the agricultural sector.
Partnering with Businesses and Local Groups
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 labor rights among Thai and migrant workers through trainings & community outreach while providing a safe means to voice complaints via LPN’s 24 hour hotline.
LPN regularly encourages the participation of other migrant and labour rights non-governmental organizations, such as the Action Network for Migrants (ANM), the Migrant Working Group (MWG), the Anti-Human Trafficking Network in Thailand (ATN), and the Cambodia and Thailand Anti-Human Trafficking Network (CAHT), in its push to establish a Migrant Union Network in Thailand (MUNT). This initiative also includes other Community Based Organizations.
LPN provides legal aid to around 3,000 migrants each year. Our team of dedicated legal officers fields an average of 200 calls per day, from simple inquiries on working conditions and immigration status to more serious cases of labour abuse. When legal assistance is required, we accompany victims throughout the judicial process: negotiating with employers for compensation, witness protection, shelter, testimony preparation, fact-finding for their case, and transportation to court hearings.
Victims of human trafficking have a right to government protection and legal assistance once they are officially identified. But due to continued issues with the victim identification process, many victims with signs of human-trafficking go unrecognized, especially in the fishing industry. In such cases, LPN plays an important role in seeking prosecution under other criminal charges, such as deception or confinement, in an effort to obtain some kind of remediation.
Migrant news, media & research
LPN partners with local media outlets in migrant source countries to share the latest information regarding MOUs, registration process and other technical aspects of migration. LPN also operates several social media properties - with a network over 100,000 - where they offer guides, tips and methods for safe migration, local rights promotion events and opportunities to network with other migrants from their home country.
LPN has always opened its doors to students, researchers, journalists and organisations working in Thailand, Southeast Asia, and worldwide. The foundation also functions as a base for national and international media associations, distributing information about the urgency and significance of migrant labour rights and the anti-human trafficking movement.
LPN undertakes joint research projects with some of Thailand’s largest academic institutions, such as the Asian Institute at Chulalongkorn University, the Institute for Population and Social Research at Mahidol University, the faculties of Social Administration at Thammasat University, Chiang Mai University, Burapha University, and the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), as well as a number of international universities.
Migrant education center
Migrant education centers
At LPN we recognize that discrimination and marginalization are some of the root causes of trafficking and labor exploitation. To break this cycle, we have been pushing hard for the integration of migrant children into public schools. Our strategy includes: temporary education centers in worker camps, bilingual classrooms to ease the transition of migrant children into public schools, a mobile education team that visits migrant communities to register children for school, as well as youth camps and parent workshops that build mutual trust between local residents and migrants. This replicable model has already been embraced by educators and is showing fantastic student retention rates.
LPN believes that education is the best way to protect vulnerable communities, and inoculate them from the risks of human trafficking. For migrant families that move together to find a better life, they are often met with difficult living conditions and no options for safe child care while they are working. Parents are forced to either take their children to their place of work - often dangerous working conditions such as construction - or leave them unsupervised for the day in the migrant living quarters.
LPN focuses on these areas where the migrant population is high and social services are low, and provides safe places for children to learn the skills necessary to thrive in Thai public schools. LPN begins by educating the families on the importance of registering their children for school and preparing them to succeed. They also provide teachers trained in fluent Thai and native migrant languages.
If you are moved by these stories, please consider donating to LPN today. Your support has the power to transform lives and prevent human tragedy. All donations directly fund LPN's raids & rescue, trafficking-prevention and rights advocacy work.