The ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) has described the coming into force of the ILO Work in Fishing Convention, 2007 – ILO188 – tomorrow, 16 November as having the potential to open up a new era for millions of fishers worldwide. The ITF has been an active supporter of the new convention from its birth to this new landmark point.
Johnny Hansen, chair of the ITF fisheries section, commented: “Fishers work in one of the most dangerous and often unpoliced professions in the world. Far too many of them are scandalously and criminally exploited. This should be a turning point in their lives.”
“Our hope is that ILO188 will begin a new era for fishers, that will help to improve conditions across the industry – including by tackling the grotesque and disgusting examples of overwork, non-payment of wages, forced labour and human trafficking that we and others have long fought to expose.”
Mr Hansen concluded: “For the sake of justice, human lives and a better industry, we call on states to ratify and implement this landmark resolution, and ask the ILO to actively promote it worldwide.”
The convention aims to ensure that fishers:
• Have improved occupational safety and health and medical care at sea, and that sick or injured fishers receive care ashore
• Receive sufficient rest for their health and safety
• Have the protection of a written work agreement
• Have the same social security protection as other workers
It also aims to ensure that fishing vessels are constructed and maintained so that workers have decent living conditions on board.