On Tuesday, May 26th, DFW Indonesia participated as a speaker in the Tuna Talks event series of The 1st Indonesian Tuna Conference 2023 in Bali. Tuna Talks addressed a wide range of topics of Tuna Fisheries research, and DFW focused on fishers and workers in the seafood industry in Indonesia.
DFW argues, in the presentation by Felicia Nugroho, that the welfare of fishermen and workers in the fisheries sector in Indonesia remains a neglected issue, especially in terms of high-risk working conditions and the lack of health and employment guarantees. While there is growing international market attention towards labor issues, workers’ welfare, and human rights violations in the fishing and seafood industry through certification.
Another critical aspect raised was the lack of healthcare and employment guarantees for fishermen and workers in the seafood sector. “Many fishers in this industry face challenges in accessing essential healthcare services and lack formal employment contracts or social security benefits. This situation leaves them vulnerable and without adequate support in case of work-related injuries or illnesses. The need for improved access to healthcare and the establishment of social safety nets were highlighted as essential steps towards enhancing the welfare of workers,” explains Felicia.
The participation of DFW Indonesia as a speaker at the Tuna Talks event signifies a noteworthy step towards addressing these crucial concerns. By shedding light on the challenges faced by fishermen and workers in the Indonesian seafood sector, DFW Indonesia emphasized the importance of implementing effective governance measures to ensure fishers’ and workers’ safety, well-being, and rights. They highlighted the need for comprehensive regulations and policies addressing the risks and vulnerabilities faced by industry professionals.
Furthermore, the DFW also shed light on the increasing attention given to labor issues and human rights violations within the fishing and seafood industry. Exploitative labor practices, such as forced labor, human trafficking, and poor working conditions, have been reported in some parts of the industry. It was stressed that strict enforcement of labor laws, transparency in supply chains, and collaboration among stakeholders are crucial in combating these violations and ensuring ethical practices throughout the sector.
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Mr. Zulficar Mochar, as the lead researcher, proposed various measures to tackle labor rights violations and human rights abuses challenges. First and foremost, “there is a need for robust and comprehensive regulations to ensure the safety and welfare of fishers and workers,” Zulficar argues. Further measures include enforcing strict safety standards on fishing vessels, implementing reasonable working hours, and providing adequate protective equipment. Additionally, efforts should be made to enhance access to healthcare services and establish social security systems for workers in the seafood sector.
Moving forward, all stakeholders need to remain committed to finding innovative solutions and implementing necessary reforms. By prioritizing the well-being of fishermen and workers in the fishing industry, Indonesia can create a more sustainable and socially responsible seafood sector, setting an example for other nations facing similar challenges.
DFW Indonesia’s participation in the Tuna Talks event demonstrates its dedication to advocating positive change in the fishing industry through research. The research’s insights contribute to the ongoing efforts to improve the governance and welfare of workers in the seafood sector, paving the way for a more equitable and sustainable future.