News

AoS hails new forced labour protocol

12th June 2014
AoS supports the recent adoption of a new Protocol aimed at boosting efforts to tackle modern forms of forced labour. 
                  The legally binding Protocol was adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) on June 11 and is seen as a firm commitment from governments, employers and unions to eradicate contemporary forms of slavery. While most seafarers and fishermen enjoy good living and working conditions, there are some, in particular migrant workers, who remain in danger of being exploited and abused as a result of globalisation and labour shortages.
                  
AoS national director Martin Foley said seafarers and fishermen deserved decent and safe working conditions. “Seafarers and fishermen work in one of the most dangerous environments and yet all too often governments and authorities turn a blind eye to the appalling conditions many are forced to endure.” 
                  “We’ve read about the brutal treatment of workers in Thailand linked to seafood production. Sadly such appalling conditions are not confined to Thailand,” said Foley. 
                   The International Confederation of Catholic Charities (Caritas Internationalis) whose work is to serve migrant communities and promote social justice for migrants also submitted a statement during the Forced Labour Committee of the 103rd International Labour Conference in which the Protocol was adopted. 
                   Part of the statement refers to the plight of seafarers and fishermen. It reads; “We would like to highlight the situation of seafarers and fishers, who are often migrants.  They are invisible and because of the nature of their work easily become victims of exploitation and abuse.” 
                   “Their working environment makes it difficult for them to seek help and protection in situation of need. Though in the maritime sector there are specific laws and conventions, sometimes it is difficult to implement them.” 
Some fishermen remain in danger of being exploited and abused