Field report: Ending Modern Slavery in the Thai Fishing Industry

Burmese migrants, mostly women at work peeling shrimps in a Thai factory


Call on four global retailers, Tesco, Walmart, Carrefour and Costco, to help eliminate modern slavery in the Thai fishing industry by signing up to Project Issara.


Investigations into the shocking world of the Thai fishing industry revealed 20-hour shifts, regular beatings, and execution-style killings for the workers exploited to farm prawns and shrimp for the world market. Four big global retailers – Tesco, Walmart, Carrefour and Costco – were all named as customers of a seafood supplier in Thailand with proven links to slavery. Freedom United joined with Anti-Slavery International and Sum Of Us to urge Walmart, Carrefour and Costco to eliminate modern slavery in the fishing industry by signing up to Project Issara, a local project investigating and resolving cases of slavery in the industry, and enforcing zero tolerance policies on forced labor through regular inspections of their supply chains.


Our campaign was successful in encouraging Tesco and Walmart to sign up to Project Issara in line with our asks. Pressure is increasing on Costco and Carrefour to commit to take action to end modern slavery in the Thai fishing industry. We will continue to monitor this issue and look for further opportunities to make a difference.

Our partner in this campaign:

Anti Slavery International Logo

Anti-Slavery International

Anti-Slavery International is the world’s oldest international human rights organisation, founded in 1839 by British abolitionists. They work to address the root causes of slavery through raising awareness, campaigning, and directly engaging with governments and international organisations. Working in partnership with local organisations they support individuals and communities affected by slavery and facilitate access to education, justice and compensation for people freed from slavery.

Ekō logo


Ekō is a new world-wide movement for a better global economy. Here’s what they stand for: Governments that answer to citizens – not corporations. Fair treatment of workers and the right of every human being to make a living, safely and ethically, for themselves and their family. The right of ordinary consumers to products that are produced and marketed ethically, sustainably, and transparently. The right of communities to manage and protect their own environment and natural resources. Business models that put people and the planet first instead of being driven by shortsighted greed.