The IUF has welcomed confirmation from the ILO Governing Body (GB) that the ILO will be stepping up its work on the aquaculture sector, a sector where child labour, forced labour and bad occupational health and safety are widespread. The most recent GB approved the recommendations of the ILO tripartite meeting on the future of work in aquaculture attended by 122 participants including more than 40 governments, 10 employers and 19 worker representatives; the Workers’ delegation was led by EFFAT-IUF Europe’s Regional Secretary Kristjan Bragason.
Noting that aquaculture is often classed as a subsector of agriculture thus giving aquaculture workers the protection of ILO standards for agriculture, the ILO has endorsed a specific set of action steps including:
- research and support for building the capacity of labour inspectorates in aquaculture
- research on OSH risks with a view to developing a Code of Practice on OSH in aquaculture
- design and implementation of development cooperation projects to advance decent and sustainable work and capacity development in aquaculture
- ILO cooperation with relevant multilateral organisations, particularly FAO, and regional organizations to promote decent and sustainable work in aquaculture
- update of the Guidance on addressing child labour in fisheries and aquaculture (2011)
Kristjan Bragason stated, “The workers delegation made important progress at this first-ever International Labour Organisation meeting focused on the rights of the workers in the fastest growing sector of the world food system. This is an important first step on the path to improving working and living conditions of millions of aquaculture workers.”