Govt urged to step up efforts against exploitation of fishermen amid COVID-19
31 July 2020
Plan International Indonesia Foundation (Plan Indonesia) has called on the government to improve its multistakeholder efforts in combating exploitative practices and trafficking in the fishing industry amid COVID-19.
Plan Indonesia program director Romatio Wulandari said the pandemic had led to a rise in human trafficking at sea because of economic uncertainties for fishers, who often had to travel further for their catch.
"It is also expected to improve synergy among ministries in harmonizing regulations for workers' recruitment, placement and travel," said the ministry's assistant deputy for maritime security and resilience, Basilio Dias Araujo.
Basilio said Indonesia had developed a national team tasked with the protection of fishing crew members in 2019, and that the government was now finalizing its 2020-2024 action plan for fishing crew protection.
According to the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry, Indonesia had developed a system for fishing companies to obtain certification for human rights protection in 2015, but no company had been certified to date.
"Going forward, we will continue to push for a comprehensive sea work agreement and raise awareness of the concept of human rights in the industry," said the ministry's fishing vessels and equipment director, Goenaryo.