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ETF Fisheries Chair to Back EJF Forced Labour Report

ETF Fisheries Chair to Back EJF Forced Labour Report

Juan Trujillo, president of the ETF (European Transport Workers’ Federation) fisheries section, will speak today in support of a report into abuses in the fishing industry and the need forreform and enforcement.

The Environmental Justice Federation (EJF) is holding a press conference today to introduce its report Sold to the sea: human trafficking in Thailand's fishing Industry (www.ejfoundation.org/soldtotheseafilm) in Spain. It will be held at 12 :30 at the Sede de la Secretaría General de Pesca, C/ Velázquez, Nº 147 – 28071, Madrid.

Trujillo, who is also fisheries secretary of the maritimesection of the FSC-CC.OO and member of the ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) fisheries task force, will be one of the speakers at the press conference. He will state that: “The ratification by the (Spanish) government of the ILO’s (International Labour Organization’s) Work in Fishing convention number 188 would provide an effective tool to combat human trafficking, forced labour in the sector and illegal fishing.”

He will continue: “We call on the Spanish government to ratify this convention, which was adopted by the 2007 International Labour Conference and which provides an essential tool to promote the socio-economic development of the sector. The Spanish delegation at that conference was made up of representatives of the Spanish government; the General Union of Workers (UGT), Workers’ Commissions (CC.OO); Spanish Confederation of Business Organisations (CEOE); and the Spanish Confederation of Small and Medium Enterprises (CEPYME), and it voted unanimously to adopt the convention.”

ETF fisheries section secretary Livia Spera also welcomed the report, saying: “Negotiations for a free-trade agreement between the EU and Thailand have just started. The ETF is working, also through its contribution to the recommendations issued by the Regional Advisory Councils (RACs), to draw the European Commission’s attention to the findings of the EJF report. We see these negotiations as a unique occasion to contribute deterring forced labour in fisheries. Thailand is one of the major exporters for fish and seafood and the signature of a free trade agreement should be conditional to a clear engagement from the Thai government to fight forced labour and ensure respect of labour rights in the sector.”

Liz Blackshaw, programme leader for the joint ITF/IUF (International Union of Food Workers) from catcher to counter initiative, added: “In lifting the lid on what is happening in Thailand this new report also helps expose what is happening to fishers worldwide, and the desperateneed for more countries to ratify convention 188 and act to prevent these terrible and ongoing abuses.”

ENDS

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