Rights group recommends migrant fishery workers must be protected by Taiwanese Labour Law


Human Rights at Sea publishes a new baseline study in relation to the Taiwanese coastal and deep water fishing industry reports of systemic human rights abuses of national and migrant crew despite efforts to curb abuse of international human rights and fisheries standards.

The publication titled ‘Awareness and Application of Human Rights in Taiwan’s Fishing Industry’ is part of the series of ongoing studies by Human Rights at Sea to quantify and qualify the levels of understanding, education and application of human rights provisions and protections of coastal States.

The study combines desk reviews with field research, legal and academic review to baseline the current situation in Taiwan with the aim of providing voluntary recommendations for State-level improvement within the sector.

It is supported by Taiwanese civil society, welfare organisations, Catholic missions and Government departments.

The study is based on the 1948 Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the charity’s founding principle that ‘human rights apply at sea, as they do on land’.

The labour policy experts who conducted the study have come up with the following recommendations for the Taiwanese Fishing Authority:

  • Strengthen international collaboration and learn from other countries’ experience to accelerate the process of extending human rights protections at sea.
  • Strengthen implementation of the existing laws, policies and instruments in respect of human rights protections for national and migrant fishermen in the maritime sector.
  • Abolish the Overseas Employment Scheme and ensure that all migrant fishermen, whatever their State origin, are protected by Taiwanese Labour Law when employed in maritime roles.
  • Return labour and recruitment agency management responsibilities from the Fisheries Agencies to the Ministry of Labour.
  • Safeguard and provide necessary training for migrant fishermen prior to work.
  • Embed the philosophy and State-led narrative of ‘human rights at sea’ in the national agenda.

(Source: humanrightsatsea.org)