New Study

Work in Fishing Convention, 2007 (No.188): Netting Gains for Sri Lanka

This study was commissioned to identify how the ratification of C 188 convention by the Government of Sri Lanka would impact on different stakeholders. Working in the agriculture and fisheries sector, the ILO's LEED+ project has a strong focus on creating inclusive, decent work opportunities. It is expected that the C 188 Convention, if ratified by the Government of Sri Lanka, will not only promote decent work conditions in the fisheries sector and create additional employment, but also generate significant economic returns to the country.

The Sri Lankan fisheries sector is fundamental to the country’s food security and employs about seven per cent of the total labour force. Despite modern technology, fishing remains one of the riskiest jobs in the world. In Sri Lanka, despite the important contribution that fish makes to the country’s food supply, nutrition, trade and export earnings, the fisheries sector lacks recourse from a comprehensive legal framework that provides adequate social protection mechanisms, comprehensive protection against injury and death at sea and protection against any potential exploitative labour practices. Within this context, the ILO Country Office for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, commissioned this technical report on the Work in Fishing Convention, 2007 (No. 188), and to inform discussion by government, employers’ and workers’ organizations, on its possible ratification. This report draws on an extensive desk review, 19 virtual key person interviews (KPIs) and 12 focus group and individual discussions with crew members, skippers and owners of multi-day boats and one-day boats in Dewundara and Gandara in the Southern Province, in Valaichenai in the Eastern Province, and in Dikkowita and Negombo in the North-Western Province, focusing on the main objectives of this assignment.

The study identified a number of benefits and challenges to key stakeholders, if the Government of Sri Lanka ratified the Convention, 188.