EJF launches human trafficking report in Spain
The Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) on Tuesday launched its report “Sold to the Sea” in Madrid.
EJF said Spain was chosen as a platform to represent the report because as a fishing nation it has a unique understanding of the sector and the dangers faced by workers.
Jose Manuel Trujillo, president of the Fisheries Section of the European Transport Workers Federation (ETF), said the International Labour Organization (ILO) Working in Fishing Convention (Convention No. 188) was important in stopping human trafficking and "slavery" on fishing vessels. He called on Spain to show leadership by ratifying the Work in Fishing Convention as soon as possible.
Joaquin Nieto, ILO Spain director, agreed that the Work in Fishing Convention was a crucial tool in fighting human trafficking, but highlighted that there were a number of existing international laws that could be used to fight this problem.”
“Unfortunately, we are seeing a lack of implementation of existing laws by some countries," said Nieto.
Javier Garat, Europeche president, said that the EJF report highlighted a clear case of “social dumping.” He called on the European Commission to ensure that labor standards and human right violations were raised in the context of free trade negotiations with Thailand, and said Europeche strong supported the ratification of the ILO Work in Fishing Convention by EU member states and non-EU countries alike.
Following the press conference in Madrid, EJF renewed its call for the international community to take action to bring an end to the devastating practice of human trafficking in the fishing industry.