23-25 April 2024 | Barcelona, Spain

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

Apr 25 2023

16:15 - 17:15

CC 5.2

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, US 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.


U.S. Department of Labor

- Chief, Trade and Labor Affairs

International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering and Allied Workers' Associations.

- International policy officer: Fisheries and Aquaculture

Indonesian Seafarers Gathering Forum (FOSPI)

- Treasurer

International Labour Organisation

- Senior Policy Analyst

U.S. Department of Labor

- Team Lead, Technical Assistance and Cooperation Team, Bureau of International Labor Affairs,

International Transport Workers' Federation

- Fisheries Expert

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