GAA Responds to U.S. State Department’s TIP Report
The Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) is appalled by the abuse and exploitation of workers in any industry, the organization said on June 23 following the U.S. State Department’s decision to downgrade Thailand, Malaysia and two other countries to a Tier 3 designation in its 2014 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report.
GAA remains fully committed to social justice through its education and advocacy work and though its Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) third-party certification program. BAP-certified processing plants, farms, hatcheries and feed mills are required to meet standards for adequate wages, a safe and healthy working environment and the prevention of child labor and forced labor. They are independently audited for social compliance annually, and they may be subjected to unannounced audits throughout the year.
Currently, there are 28 BAP-certified shrimp processing plants in Thailand and one BAP-certified shrimp processing plant in Malaysia. These facilities demonstrate a commitment to social responsibility through BAP certification, and it’s unfortunate that their commitment is being overshadowed by the irresponsible actions of some.
GAA will continue to proactively address these matters by working with all aquaculture stakeholders on practical solutions and would serve as a resource to the U.S. State Department, as requested.
Together with the Aquaculture Stewardship Council and GLOBALG.A.P., GAA on June 24 released a joint statement addressing social responsibility. The three organizations have been working together since signing a memorandum of understanding in April 2013. Click here to read the statement.