Guardian investigation reveals trafficked migrant workers suffering abuse in Irish fishing industry

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Article
15 December 2015

Ireland: Fisheries employers to pay for repatriation of migrant workers under new proposals

Author: Juno McEnroe, Irish Examiner

Employers in the fishing industry will have to pay the costs of repatriating migrant workers to their home countries once their permits expire, under proposals recommended by a taskforce. Agriculture and Marine Minister Simon Coveney has also been advised that a new permit system to protect vulnerable migrant workers in the fishing industry must be inspected and solicitor-approved. The taskforce report was brought to Cabinet this week and comes on the back of recent newspaper reports that illegal, non-European migrant workers were being used here as cheap labour...

 

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Article
6 November 2015

Ireland: Govt. sets up taskforce to examine issues uncovered in Guardian investigation re treatment of migrant workers in fishing industry

Author: UTV Ireland

Following a decision at Cabinet on Tuesday the Government has decided to immediately establish a taskforce to examine the wide range of issues identified in Monday’s report in The Guardian regarding the treatment of foreign workers on board Irish fishing trawlers...[it] reported that undocumented workers have been employed in the Irish fishing industry on extremely low pay, less than half the minimum wage, and they endure terrible working conditions including sleep deprivation and inhuman hours. It was also reported that some may have been trafficked via Belfast on UK transit visas in what they described as a "catalogue of abuses". Ken Fleming of the International Transport Workers Federation (ITWF) claims that the use of undocumented labour in the Irish shipping industry is widespread...and efforts to raise the alarm...have been ignored.

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Article
3 November 2015

Revealed: trafficked migrant workers abused in Irish fishing industry

Author: Felicity Lawrence, Ella McSweeney, Annie Kelly, Mat Heywood, Dan Susman, Chris Kelly, John Domokos, Guardian (UK)

African and Asian migrant workers are being routinely but illegally used as cheap labour on Irish fishing trawlers working out of some of the country’s most popular tourist ports, the Guardian can reveal. A year-long investigation into the Irish prawn and whitefish sector has uncovered undocumented Ghanaian, Filipino, Egyptian and Indian fishermen manning boats in ports from Cork to Galway. They have described a catalogue of abuses, including being confined to vessels unless given permission by their skippers to go on land, and being paid less than half the Irish minimum wage that would apply if they were legally employed. They have also spoken of extreme sleep deprivation, having to work for days or nights on end with only a few hours’ sleep, and with no proper rest days. Some migrant workers claim to have been deceived and appear to have been trafficked on to trawlers for labour exploitation, an abuse that would be a form of modern slavery. Our evidence suggests that some boat owners and crewing agencies are smuggling African and Filipino workers in to Ireland through entry points at London Heathrow and Belfast airports, and then arranging for them to cross from Northern Ireland in to the Republic by road, bypassing Irish immigration controls. [article contains statements from boat owners and agencies]

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