shield arrow-simple-alt-top arrow-simple-alt-left arrow-simple-alt-right arrow-simple-alt-bottom facebook instagram linkedin medium pinterest rss search-alt twitter video-play arrow-long-right arrow-long-left arrow-long-top arrow-long-bottom arrow-simple-right arrow-simple-left arrow-simple-bottom readio arrow-simple-top speaker-down plus minus cloud hb pin camera globe cart rotate star edit arrow-top arrow-right arrow-left arrow-bottom check search close square speaker-up speaker-mute return play pause love

Ruling Overturned in Thailand to Restrain Man Who Abused Crew Member

A Burmese crew supervisor on a fishing vessel was sentenced to serve two years imprisonment after the Court of Appeal upheld his conviction and overturned a previous verdict allowing for the man’s release.

Human trafficking and forced labor cases have been prevalent off the coast of Thailand for several years, according to a studyby International Justice Mission and Issara Institute.

In this recent case a crew supervisor on a fishing vessel physically assaulted his own Burmese crew member, Win Oo*, with a foot-long metal spike used for mending nets. Win Oo was hospitalized, leaving his wife and two children with no one to provide for them while he recovered.

IJM Thailand partnered with the Royal Thai Police’s Anti-Trafficking in Persons Task Force to investigate the case. While it was not determined to be a trafficking case, the suspect was charged with forcing the victim to work against his will and violently assaulting him.

The suspect pled guilty, resulting in a sentence of 15 days for forced labor and one year in prison for physical assault. However, because this was a first offense, and because the crew supervisor falsely claimed he had already paid compensation to the victim, the judge released him on probation with no imprisonment required. He was free to go.

But the IJM lawyer and public prosecutor were determined to appeal the verdict that allowed a violent man to walk free. On February 18, 2020, the appeal court overturned the initial decision, ruling that the perpetrator would serve two years without parole.

“We thought the first verdict was the end of it. But we decided to move on and hold to belief that pursuing God’s justice would shed light on this”, said Chantanee Sirisahwatthada, an IJM Thailand lawyer. “Now we all know that there is light at the end of that dark tunnel.”

“The judge‘s decision sends a message that the voices of victims are being heard, and those who profit from abusing others will be held accountable,” said Andrew Wasuwongse, Field Office Director, IJM Bangkok.

Win Oo has since recovered enough to return to his hometown in Southern Myanmar and is now living peacefully with his family, working on a farm.


*A pseudonym

**Stock image

You might also be interested in…

see more

Newsletter Sign Up

Stay connected to the work! Sign up to get updates straight to your inbox.

Media Contact

We're here to answer your questions. Please fill out the form below and someone from our team will follow up with you soon.

More Information

Petra Kooman

Director of Marketing and Public Relations
pkooman@ijm.ca
519.679.5030 x.229

Make an Impact

Your skills, talents, and ideas are a force for change. From birthday parties to polar dips, your fundraising campaign can stop the violence.

Learn More

Thank you for signing up to learn more about starting a fundraiser. We will be in touch soon!

In the meantime, please take a look at our free guide: 25 Tips for the Novice Fundraiser.

Need Help?

Need more information?
We're here to help.
Contact us at events@ijm.ca