The Isaan Record receives honorable mention in Issara Amantakul Media Awards for its feature on human trafficking of Thai berry harvesters

Bangkok- March 5, 2024  The Thai Journalists Association organized the TJA Dinner Talk on the 69th anniversary of the founding of the TJA and to mark Thai Journalists Day, held at the Phayathai Grand Ballroom at the Eastin Grand Hotel, Phayathai. At the event, the “Issara Amantakul media awards” for news and photography were announced.

The Issara Amantakul Media Awards, sponsored by the foundation of the same name, have been given out since 1972 to honor journalists, newspapers, and their owners. The awards are intended to be an impetus for the professional development of journalists and to promote social responsibility. There are four categories of news and news photos contest:

1. Issara Amantakul Award for Excellence in Newspaper News Reporting

2. Issara Amantakul Award for Excellence in Online Media News Reporting

3. Issara Amantakul Award for Best Newspaper News Photography

4. Issara Amantakul Award for Best Online Media News Photography

Ardchawit Inha, assistant news editor of The Isaan Record gave a speech at the event about the backgroud of the story of berry pickers.

The Isaan Record website received an honorable mention for its online media feature story, “Janpreeya Champi Hom in the Bitterness of Berries,” which described the life and struggle of Thai berry harvesters abroad. The feature highlighted the human trafficking aspects of berry harvesters linked to large companies and high-level officials of the Finnish government.

Ardchawit Inha, assistant news editor of The Isaan Record website, said that this work focussed on a single point: the lives of a married couple from Nong Bua Lamphu Province who went to Finland to harvest berries. But there were hundreds more involved in this labor practice in Finland. Currently, workers are seeking redress for the unfair compensation paid to them and the question of whether the conditions under which they were contracted constitutes human trafficking.

“The award does not belong only to our team but it also belongs to the people in Isaan who have come together to raise their voices, the voices of Isaan people sent to Finland under the watch of the Finnish and Thai embassies. They speak to raise awareness of this problem and we are ready to continue to amplify voices like this.” Achawit said.

Kowit Photisan, the Thai Editor of The Isaan Record received the award from Amnsesty International Thailand.

On February 16, 2024, The Isaan Record received another “Honorable Mention” in Amnesty International Thailand’s media awards for human rights for its work on the situation of Thai berry harvesters aboard.

Suthasinee Kaewleklai, the manager of the Labor Rights Foundation, was the representative presenting the award, remarking that the problem of human trafficking among berry harvesters is a reflection of labor problems that have been brewing in Thai society for a long time. It’s occurred repeatedly, he said, ever since laborers from Thailand have been traveling to work in the Middle East until the present.

Note: This work is supported by the AspirE project of the European Union (EU)