The ITF is demanding that charges against Andy Hall, a UK citizen who is due to stand trial in September on charges of criminal defamation, be dropped.
The criminal and civil cases were brought against Andy Hall by Thailand's Natural Fruit Company following his research into the company's operations for the report 'Cheap Has a High Price,' published by the Finnwatch NGO (www.finnwatch.org).
That report exposed smuggling of migrant workers along with the use of child labor, forced overtime and violence against workers.
ITF acting general secretary Steve Cotton stated: ''Andy Hall's investigations into the fruit and fish industries in Thailand helped expose shocking abuses there to a worldwide audience.
''He should be praised, not prosecuted. Thailand's attorney general must act now to disallow this case, which is an example of blatant victimisation of someone for no greater crime than telling an unacceptable truth.''
He continued: ''This legal case attempts to shoot the messenger and leave the true offender untouched. Thailand must address the unforgivable abuses being allowed to take place on its lands and waters, and also ensure the right to freedom of opinion.''
ITF president Paddy Crumlin added: ''Thailand itself is on trial. Its failure to act has rightly led to it being downgraded by the US government over human trafficking.
''If ever a country needed to allow defenders of human rights to identify problems, it's this one.
''This impending trial is a national and international embarrassment and should be called off immediately.''
The ITF believes that Thailand should:
.. Ratify and implement ILO conventions 87 and 98, respecting workers' fundamental rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining
.. Ratify and implement ILO Work in Fishing Convention No. 188
.. Ensure that all companies operating in Thailand and benefiting from Thai resources and employment markets work constructively with trade unions and workers' organisations
Andy Hall is detailing the case against him at the website andyjhall.wordpress.com, through which he can be contacted.
Declaration of interest: Phuketwan journalists Alan Morison and Chutima Sidasathian face a continuing trial in March over criminal defamation and Computer Crimes Act charges brought by the Royal Thai Navy, citing a paragraph from a Pulitzer prize-winning Reuters report on the Rohingya boatpeople.
The actions against Phuketwan and Hall were both mentioned in the US State Department's Trafficking in Persons report recently which lowered Thailand's standing to Tier 3, the bottom level.
Around 700 unions representing over 4.5 million transport workers from some 150 countries are members of the ITF. It is one of several Global Union Federations allied with the International Trade Union Confederation.