The fishing industry is vulnerable to human rights abuses, with fishers on distant water fishing vessels being subjected to forced labour, violence, lack of drinking water and food, and even facing death. This is largely the case for migrant fishers from Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam working in Taiwan’s distant water fleet. The majority of these fishers don’t have access to Wi-Fi and so are unable to reach out for help or contact their family, leaving them isolated at sea.
HRC has worked in collaboration with the Taiwan Association of Human Rights, Stella Maris Kaohsiung, and Fospi Donggang Pingtung for Global Labor Justice – International Labor Rights Forum to create this report, “Wi-Fi for Fishers at Sea”. The report addresses how access to wifi will enable fishers to access grievance mechanisms and report any forms of abuse, allowing them to receive the appropriate support. This briefing constitutes one of the first pieces of literature exploring international standards, laws and practices with regard to Wi-Fi onboard commercial fishing vessels.
We are presenting this briefing to relevant governments and stakeholders in the hopes that access to Wi-Fi will be made a legal requirement onboard all fishing vessels. It is vital that governments work with the fishing industry to put an end to the human rights abuses fishers face, ensuring this change is implemented accordingly.
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