Working Groups Meetings July 2019

Working Groups Meetings July 2019

The previous meetings of the five Working Groups of the SEA Forum for Fishers were convened on 10-12 July 2019 via ZOOM’s online platform. These meetings are a continuation of our discussions at the Working Group meetings in late March 2019 (see meeting notes). The meetings helped us to build on our achievements at the SEA Conference 2018  and to prepare for the Inaugural Plenary Meeting of the SEA Forum for Fishers to be held on 25-26 September 2019 in Bali. 

Participants from governments, labour union, private sector, employers’ associations, NGOs, academia, and IOs have contributed to the Working Group discussions. Technical assistance presentations were also delivered by the International Fusion Centre (IFC)Global Fishing Watch (GFW), Greenpeacethe Forum Fisheries Agency, and LawAid International. The participants’ have concluded the several actions that will be carried forward to the Inaugural Plenary Meeting of the SEA Forum for Fishers to be held on 25-26 September 2019 in Bali. 

 

  • Working Group 1  Trafficking in Persons Risk Identification and Alert: Data Sharing and Vessel Monitoring  (Read WG1 Full Meeting Notes)

The WG1 meeting was started by presentations from the International Fusion Centre (IFC) and Global Fishing Watch (GFW). Both presenters introduced their organization data sharing mechanism and invite any future collaborations. The participants continue to discuss the best practices and challenges on data sharing and vessel monitoring practices in the region.

The actions to take forward from the WG1 meeting are: 
1. WG members must nominate member to give summary of work in upcoming the Inaugural Plenary Meeting of the SEA Forum for Fishers in September 2019;
2. Map existing MoUs relating to data-sharing within SEA;
3. ILO as the Secretariat shall discuss data-sharing modalities with IFC;
4. Consider analysis and research to determine if indicators of forced labour and human trafficking on-board vessels can be developed using GFW data

 
  • Working Group 2 Regional Protocol for Port State Control and Inspection of Labour Conditions onFishing Vessels  (Read WG2 Full Meeting Notes )

Firstly, the WG2 meeting facilitator ignite initial discussions by summarizing presentations from the International Fusion Centre (IFC) and Global Fishing Watch (GFW) at the previous session. The Working Group 2 discussions focus on developing effective port State Control mechanism that focuses combating labour issues. 

The actions to take forward from the WG2 meeting are: 

  1. Consider inviting CENTRAL to regional meeting;
  2. Develop draft skeleton regional protocol for PSMA;
  3. Develop agenda for inauguration meeting in September 2019;
  4. Consolidate the recommendation of a more coordinated approach for multi-agency joint inspections

Mr. Rodwell, Director of the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) presented “The Harmonized Minimum Terms and Condition for Crewing (MTC)” in the Pacific region. This presentation was intended to share best practices and challenges in enforcing regional fishing crew standards in the Pacific region. Then the participants continue discuss the point in common and the differences in the SEA to harmonize labour standards in the region. 

The actions to take forward from the WG3 meeting are: 

  1. Consider inviting CENTRAL to regional meeting;
  2. Develop draft skeleton regional protocol for PSMA;
  3. Develop agenda for inauguration meeting in September 2019;
  4. Consolidate the recommendation of a more coordinated approach for multi-agency joint inspections

The meeting began with Mr. Irvandi from ILO summarizing the ILO’s General principles and operational guidelines for fair recruitment and definition of recruitment fees and related costs (2019). Then Ms. Tsai, Project Leader of Greenpeace East Asia presented the “2-Tiered Systems of Labour Protection for Migrant Workers on Distant Water Fleets in Taiwan”

The actions to take forward from the WG4 meeting are: 
1. Develop minimum standards or core principles for recruitment of migrant workers and fishers within and from SEA (employment conditions/termination of contract/costs of repatriation/fee structures compliant with international
standards/inspections);
2) Consider drafting model regulations applicable to migrant workers within and from SEA to require flag States apply labour laws to migrant fishers working on fleets with no discrimination
3) Consider draft model provisions for MOU related to recruitment of sea-based migrant workers (clear provisions for protection of migrant labour)

  • Working Group 5 Increasing Access to Remedy for Survivors and Victims of Trafficking in the Fishing and Seafood Industry   (Read WG5 Full Meeting Notes)

Before joining the meeting, the participants are required to comments and agree to the Confidentiality Guidelines. The meeting was started with presentation on “Providing Access to Justice for Victims of Human Trafficking”  from Mr. Harre representing LawAid International. The presentation especially highlights the chronology and challenges of the Sajo Oyang Case. Participants then discuss on requirements and challenges in pursuing effective litigation efforts. 

The actions to take forward from the WG5 meeting are: 
1. Need to nominate member to present WG 5 work to other WGs;
2. Discuss draft MoUs for receiving countries and Market State Position;
3. Consider mapping jurisdictions where doctrine of maritime lien is applicable (mostly common law jurisdiction);

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