Ship to Shore Rights South East Asia Sails into 2022
Ship to Shore South East Asia (S2SR) continues to achieve substantial progress in advancing the rights of migrant workers throughout the region in spite of new waves of COVID-19. S2SR has responded to this challenging context by working closely with governments, employers’ organizations, workers’ organizations and civil society to ensure that the health, livelihoods and human rights of migrants are protected.
In February, S2SR supported training sessions for 95 labour inspectors in Thailand to improve the effectiveness of their inspections in the fishing and seafood processing sectors. The training content on "forced labour in fishing" helped to familiarize the inspectors with the relevant international labour standards and what indicators to look for in identifying cases.
In April, S2SR published ground-breaking new research on the impact of COVID-19 on workers in the fishing industry, in collaboration with Cornell University’s New Conversations Project. The report highlights how these workers have been rendered "out of sight, out of mind" through policies that severely restrict their freedoms and basic rights.
Between February and May, S2SR launched five new migrant worker resource centres in Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Cambodia, recognizing that COVID-19 has made it more essential than ever that migrants in fishing and seafood processing work have access to safe migration information and services prior to migration and support for successful reintegration upon return home.
Through these and other interventions, S2SR has leveraged the COVID-19 response not only as an opportunity to reduce the impact of the pandemic on migrant workers but also to address the pre-existing decent work deficits they commonly experience. The programme aspires to achieve a “better normal” for migrant workers in South East Asia through the development of rights-based labour migration governance frameworks in the region that are in line international labour standards.