Photo Exhibition: Harsh life on shore: Migrant workers in Thai fishing industry

In recent years, the harsh labor practices and poor living and work conditions of migrants from Cambodia and Myanmar in the fishing and seafood industry in Thailand have received international attention and prompted demands for systemic reform. Photographer Rahman Mahmud’s insights powerfully illustrate the Cambodian migrant children, women and men who sustain the industry with their exploited labor. In his words: “I have spent hours during the day in a fishing pier. A vessel arrives, the workers on board unloads the fish, sort the fish, clean the boat, load fresh supply of food, mend nets and the loudspeaker from the captain’s deck urges to leave for fresh catch. It is maximum productivity using undocumented laborers. I haven’t seen any worker leaving the pier for a stroll. It is a $7 billion a year industry and an average pay is below 10$/day with non-stop work.”
Selected photographs taken in various port locations in Thailand between 2012 and 2014 will be exposed for a week on 28 January-5 February at SEA Junction. More pictures from the same series are available on our website at

At the launching of the week-long exhibition in 28 January at 4.30-6.30 PM a panel discussion of migrant organizations and experts will highlight the issue and the photographer will share its perspective derived from years-long observation of migrant workers conditions.

1. Mahmud Rahman - Photographer
2. Phil Robertson - Deputy Director for Asia of Human Rights Watch
3. Sompong Srakeaw - CEO&Founder of the Labour Rights Promotion Network