Asia-Pacific Development Journal

The Asia-Pacific Development Journal (APDJ) is published twice a year by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. The primary objective of the APDJ is to provide a platform for the exchange of knowledge, experience, ideas, information and data on all aspects of economic and social development issues and concerns facing the region and aims to stimulate policy debate and assist policy formulation. The APDJ provides a scholarly means for bringing together research work by eminent social scientists and development practitioners from the region and beyond for use by a variety of stakeholders. The Journal aims to stimulate policy debate and assist policy formulation in the region.


Labour-market issues under trade liberalization: Implications for Thai workers

This paper analyses the impact of trade liberalization on the labour market in Thailand. The impacts on wages, employment, gender roles, labour standards and protection, human development and unionization are investigated. Such impacts vary among different sectors and in different aspects. The negative impact on workers, compared with other stakeholders, is shown to be a major concern. Workers are shown to have bad working conditions and low levels of protection and bargaining power. Since a more competitive atmosphere resulting from freer trade forces businesses to adjust their working environment, those businesses have to consider upgrading their human resources, which will thereafter help those businesses to make cost-effective adjustments and enhance the working conditions of labour. In order to cope with the international standards resulting from trade liberalization, the labour protection law of Thailand should be amended to include workers in the informal sector, such as home workers, part-time workers, subcontracted workers and temporary workers. In addition, the labour protection law should be linked to the development of skills and work safety.


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