SEG Panel: Protecting Fishers’ Rights – A Tackle Box of Rights-Based Tools to Detect and Combat Forced Labor

The Protecting Fishers' Rights panel at the 2023 Seafood Expo Global
The Protecting Fishers' Rights panel at the 2023 Seafood Expo Global
2 Min

The 2023 Seafood Expo Global, which took place 25 to 27 April 2023 in Barcelona, Spain, featured a comprehensive conference program of live panel events focusing on topics chosen to be of vital interest to the seafood industry.

The 20 individual presentations from SEG featured exclusive information and insight from seafood industry experts, including economic forecasts and analysis on the trends and topics impacting the global seafood industry as it navigates issues of trade, food safety, traceability, aquaculture, sustainability, and consumption trends. Now, a video recording of each of these sessions is available for on-demand replay.

Featuring International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering and Allied Workers' Associations Policy Officer Kirill Buketov, Indonesian Seafarers Gathering Forum (FOSPI) Treasurer Hadi, U.S. Department of Labor Lead International Relations Officer Laura Van Voorhees, International Transport Workers' Federation Senior Economist And Policy Analyst Chris Williams, and moderated by U.S. Department of Labor Division Chief Trade Policy and Negotiations Anne Zollner, “Protecting Fishers’ Rights – A Tackle Box of Rights-Based Tools to Detect and Combat Forced Labor” is available free for SeafoodSource Premium members and for USD 350 to non-members through the Complete Digital Ticket: Seafood Expo Global 2023.

The session was presented on Tuesday, 25 April, with the following description:

Fishing is hard work that involves many obvious hazards, including the risk of drowning or injury from equipment. But some hazards that workers face are less obvious, including the risk of forced labor. While some forms of forced labor can easily be identified, others cannot. For example, some fish workers do not have written contracts, so determining whether working conditions and/or pay are appropriate and fulfilled cannot be done through a quick review of documentation. Some tools exist to assist authorities in determining whether forced labor might exist on a fishing vessel or in a fishing fleet, but these have been targeted to specific countries.

To address the need for tools that could be applied in a variety of countries and situations, U.S. Department of Labor/Bureau of International Labor Affairs offers policy tools, projects and important research and reports designed to combat abuses in the fishing sector.  Among these programs, US Department of Labor funded the International Labor Organization to develop a new set of global forced labor detection tools. This fisher handbook provides guidance not only to labor and maritime officials charged with labor or maritime investigations, but also to civil society organizations and others who come into contact with fishers along their journey to and from port. All of these practical tools provide information on indicators of forced labor and resources for these front line responders to report and follow up on suspected cases of forced labor.

The Complete Digital Ticket: Seafood Expo North America 2024, featuring 32 video-recorded sessions from the most recent SENA event, is also now available for purchase for USD 350, but is also free for SeafoodSource Premium members.

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