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Amplifying Worker Voice: A cutting-edge report on Grievance Mechanisms in the Fishing Industry

Updated: Jul 18, 2023


We are proud to present the cutting-edge report, “What is the Expectation of Worker Voice and Grievance Mechanisms on Certified Fishing Vessels?” by Key Traceability and Global Seafood Alliance!

The project aimed to provide practical guidance and solutions for establishing Worker Voice and Grievance Mechanisms on fishing vessels, addressing the unique challenges of adverse and remote operating areas coupled with diverse crew compositions in the fishing industry.

Although the global frameworks of ILO C188 and UNGP 31 provide international principles for worker welfare, it would be beneficial to have a more intricate guidance tailored to combat the unique challenges faced in the fishing industry, which simultaneously highlights the opportunities for further improvements.

This project involved 150 stakeholders from 30+ countries to identify the expectations of Worker Voice and Grievance Mechanisms within the fishing industry and provide actionable recommendations for the future. A combination of interviews, surveys, and regional workshops were conducted with representatives from the fishing industry between December 2021 and December 2022.

The report outlines the following key recommendations about the stakeholder actions:

  1. Develop a global Code of Best Practice, for worker voice and grievance mechanisms in the fishing industry, based on international guidance and dialogue

  2. Specify requirements within the Code for effective worker voice and grievance mechanisms, including training, crew preparation, language-appropriate information, and communication access.

  3. Share best practices by:

    • Creating multilingual videos and informational materials for crew use at sea.

    • Collaborating with expert third parties to improve crew preparation and experience.

    • Enhancing crew representation and build trust through buddy systems and engagement with crew representatives.

The project found consensus on the need for Worker Voice and Grievance Mechanisms on fishing vessels, but a lack of clear understanding and guidance on their implementation. Context-specific adjustments, stakeholder education, and involvement in guideline development were highlighted as crucial for effective practices.

All stakeholders, including fishing vessel owners, skippers, recruiters and crew representatives, can contribute to creating sound guidance for worker voice and grievance mechanisms. Together, we can implement best practices and achieve certification for crew welfare worldwide.

To dive deeper into the findings of the report read the full article here: https://www.globalseafood.org/wpcontent/uploads/2023/05/Worker-Voice-on-Fishing-Vessels-Report.pdf

Let's help amplify workers’ voices and build a brighter future for fishers!

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