Validation workshop on the deep dive study report into challenges and opportunities to promote decent work in Namibia’s fishing supply chains.

An up-to-date integrated picture of employment and labour-related trends as well as decent work challenges and opportunities in Namibia’s fishing supply chains.

News | 20 April 2022
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Windhoek (ILO News) – The ILO initiated a series of tripartite consultations on the Sustainable Supply Chains to Build Forward Better project in early 2021, to get stakeholders inputs, during which one of the main concerns expressed by the ILO constituents and stakeholders in the fishing industry was the negative impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the fishing sector, in particular the number of jobs lost. Employment creation in the fishing sector was identified as a priority, and particularly the need to create jobs that were decent and sustainable.

As a result, the ILO with funding from the European Union, initiated a study to establish the decent work challenges and opportunities in Namibia’s fishing supply chain with the aim of providing an up-to-date picture of employment and labour-related trends and developments. The research focused on the large-scale marine industrial fishing by looking at the status quo, the existing legislative and policy frameworks to provide a good understanding of the dynamics across the supply chain.

The research also sought to lay the foundation for future programming responses in the fishing sector by government, employers, and workers in the fishing industry. The ILO convened a stakeholders’ workshop to validate the draft report prepared by a team of local and international experts on the 07 March 2022

The workshop was devoted to presenting the main findings of the deep dive study and discussing and prioritizing the draft recommendations for government, workers, and employers.

The participants

The workshop also aimed to better inform and enable key actors in the fishing sector to advance decent work in fairer, more resilient, and sustainable global supply chains.

The key highlight of the reviewed recommendations to the government is the need to harmonize the legal framework in the sectors, in particular, the Labour Act, Marine Resources Act, and Merchant Shipping Act, to increase compliance with international labour standards and ensure adequate protection for workers across jurisdictional boundaries. Workers’ organizations need to increase awareness-raising on human and labour rights (as enshrined in the national law) for workers and fishers through a variety of channels, in particular regarding contracts, occupational safety and health, and social security. Regardless of employment status, employers’ organizations (through the Confederation of the Namibian Fishing Associations) need to inform their members on the benefits of social protection mechanisms for fishers and workers and promote the registration of all fishers and workers with the Social Security Commission(SSC).

The workshop achieved its overall objective of validating the key findings on the decent work challenges and opportunities in the fishing sector amid the impact of the COVID-19 crisis and adopting recommendations highlighting actions to be taken by constituents and other stakeholders to explore ways to build forward better. All discussions and the workshop outcomes will feed into the final version of the report that will be published under the banner of the global SSCBFB programme.

The workshop brought together key stakeholders in the fishing sector such as the Ministry of Labour Industrial Relations and Employment Creation, Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Ministry of Works and Transport (Department of Maritime Affairs), Trade Union Congress of Namibia (TUCNA), Namibia Seaman and Allied Workers Union (NASAWU), National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW), Confederation of Namibia Fishing Associations( CNFA), University of Namibia (UNAM), Namibia University of Science and Technology, Benguela Current Commission (BCC), Deutsche Gesellschaft Fur International Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Delegation of the European Union Namibia (EU), United Nations Development Program (UNDP – Namibia), United Nations Resident Coordinator’s Office (RCO), Fisheries Observer Agency (FOA), Namibia Maritime Fisheries Institute, Namibia Fish Consumption Promotion Trust, ILO Zimbabwe and Namibia, and ILO SECTOR, Geneva.