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30 Apr 2022

Bangkok Post

Commentary: Governments, employers, workers & civil society must reaffirm commitment to decent work for fishers & migrant workers

"At land or sea, decent work is a right", 30 April 2022

[...] Asia-Pacific is home to 31 million of the world's 38 million fishers -- yet only Thailand has ratified the Work in Fishing Convention, 2007 (No.188). [...]

Fishing is among the most dangerous of all professions. A recent ILO report found that during Covid-19, fishing countries such as Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia and the Republic of Korea adopted policies that enabled the continuation of fishing as it was deemed "essential" to food security and/or the economy. However, governments' pandemic relief policies often overlooked or excluded migrant workers in these jobs. At the same time, the occupational health and safety hazards for fishers were compounded as they were stranded on vessels, in close quarters, with limited supplies or personal protective equipment, and intermittent access to medical care.

[...] we call on governments, employers, workers and civil society organisations to reaffirm their commitment to decent work for fishers and migrant workers. [...] Most urgently for fishers and migrant workers in Asia-Pacific, serious gaps in protections for workers need to be addressed, including on issues such as employment contracts, adequate wages, and stronger occupational safety and health measures. [...]