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Do you know who Sodikin and Rudy are? Would you like to help them?

Sodikin was one of many Indonesia fishworkers who worked in the foreign fishing vessel owned by one of Taiwan fishing industry operated in Phuket, Thailand waters. Sodikin comes from Tegal who was carrying his dream to earn money for his family in the overseas fishing vessel, only to get victimized by the company he worked on.

For nearly two years, Sodikin and his friends had to find ways to survive on board the vessel. Hard times were not just about bad weather or heavy storms but also verbal and physical abuse from their bosses. They suffered from hunger and their basic human rights were mostly neglected. It was very difficult for them to get clean sanitation, medicine, and getting paid regularly. Similar to Rudy, who is from Cirebon and has worked on board the vessel for 17 months, Sodikin was never paid for his work – not even once.

During the emergencies where Sodikin and Rudy badly needed money for their family, they had to ask the boat captain or the agency for a help in getting them the salary or loan. Nevertheless, instead of getting a hand of help or getting paid, they were treated like beggars and even being refused to help because the boat captain also hasn’t been paid as well. Until today, Sodikin and Rudy are still fighting to get the wages along with the collateral money that they paid for 6 months to the agency.

Sadly, the case of Sodikin and Rudy is only a tip of another reality of fish workers. Sodikin and Rudy’s experiences are all too common for fishing vessel workers coming from Southeast Asia, where many prevailing practices in the lucrative fishing industry, including the withholding of wages and physical abuse and maltreatment on board the vessel, can be described as modern-day slavery.

Onboard trammel net rafts in Bengal Bay and Matapan Sea, crew members from Myanmar had to work very long hours with not enough time to rest or sleep. Many had fallen sick due to lack of sleep and inadequate food and water. They also had no access to proper sanitation and health facilities. Meanwhile, another crew from Indonesia also had to work 14 to 28 hours per shift with barely enough time to sleep and without food, water and access to medicines. They often had to work overtime to meet production targets. Every attempt to complain would be answered with physical abuse and harassment. The workers were not allowed to speak.

For the last five years, SEAFish for Justice has helped bring to light the appalling treatment of fishery workers from Southeast Asia. In our investigations, weak national and regional law enforcement and monitoring by government authorities, and lack of training support and minimum access to complaint mechanisms for workers have all contributed to the inhumane working conditions and gross abuse of Southeast Asian fishery workers. YOU can help put a stop to this. YOU can speak up for fishing workers who have been silenced and forced to endure injustice and suffering.

Call for governments to ratify ILO Convention No. 188

To help ensure safe and decent working environments for the world’s 38 million workers in the fishing sector, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention No. 188 on Work in Fishing was adopted in 2007. This Convention sets the international minimum standards of the working environment for all types of fishing vessels to ensure that every crew member is protected in their work.

ILO Convention No. 188 has been ratified by Argentina (2011), Bosnia Herzegovina (2010), Republic of Congo (2014), Morocco (2013) and South Africa (2013), all of which are countries with large coastlines. However, no country from Southeast Asia has ratified the Convention, despite the abundance of cases of inhumane working environments experienced by fishing sector workers from the region, which is also one of the world’s most important producers of fish and fishery products.

To help protect fishing vessel workers like Sodikin and Rudy, governments of Southeast Asian countries must ratify ILO Convention No. 188. By ratifying the Convention, governments are obliged to ensure that:

  • Workers receive enough rest and are given access to health and medical care while they are at sea and that the sick or injure are cared for when they reach the shore
  • Workers have the protection of a written work agreement and have the same social security protection as other workers
  • Fishing vessels, regardless of size, are constructed and maintained so that workers have decent living conditions on boards, safe and suitable for the long periods they often spend at sea.

We urge the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its 10 member states to protect fishery workers from Southeast Asia and immediately ratify ILO Convention No. 188!

The unacceptable working conditions of fishery workers are a blemish on the face of the increasingly lucrative fishery industry in Southeast Asia. Would you stand with Sodikin, Rudy and millions of other fishery workers, who have been working very hard to provide seafood we can enjoy, to have their rights fulfilled and protected?

Please sign, share the petition, and make sure that you become part of our movement in stopping all kind of human rights violation in the fishery sector.

Hari ini: SEAfish for Justice mengandalkanmu

SEAfish for Justice membutuhkan bantuanmu untuk mengajukan petisi "AICHR (ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights): STOP MODERN SLAVERY IN SOUTHEAST ASIA'S FISHERIES". Bergabunglah dengan SEAfish for Justice dan 103 pendukung lainnya hari ini.