Securing Decent Work for Fishers in Indonesia
In Indonesia, an ongoing Government priority is to improve decent working conditions in the fishing sector, including through better enforcement by the labour inspectorate and strengthened coordination with other relevant regulators.
Workshop objectivesAs a result of the workshop, Labour Inspection officials will have:
- improved understanding of Strategic Compliance Planning for labour inspection generally and in the fishing sector;
- improved their knowledge of international and domestic standards for working conditions in the fishing sector
- developed work plans for compliance interventions in the fishing sector for their respective provinces;
- identified challenges and plans for improving inspection methods in fishing;
- improved their understanding of the skills needed for effective fishing vessel inspections
- understanding of good practices and challenges of labour inspection in the Thai fishing sector.
BackgroundIn Indonesia, an ongoing Government priority is to improve decent working conditions in the fishing sector, including through better enforcement by the labour inspectorate and strengthened coordination with other relevant regulators. The prevalence of poor working conditions in fishing, whether in terms of wages, working hours, occupational safety and health, child labour or forced labour, make improving compliance a critical part of ensuring the sustainability of the country's fishing sector, its access to global markets and as a future contributor to jobs and livelihoods for many Indonesians.
In recent times, the Government has pursued several of initiatives to improve the effectiveness of the inspectorate in this sector. This includes work towards ratifying the ILO's Work in Fishing Convention (C. 188) together with consultations and a law and practice analysis in relation to that instrument. It also hosted a focus group discussion on labour protection on fishing vessels in May 2017 with officials from the Ministry of Manpower, Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries and Ministry of Foreign Affairs (as well as the ILO). The MoM further convened the Second Regional Meeting on Work in Fishing in April 2015 with the participation of labour inspection and other relevant Government officials and social partners.
Despite these and other efforts, the labour inspectorate has yet to fully exerted its mandate in fishing, in part because the MoMAF has significant maritime resources and has taken the lead on enforcement in the sector (particularly with respect to IUU fishing) – especially following the 2015 rescue of some 800 migrant fishers found in situations of forced labour in Ambon and Benjina. Moreover, coordination between the MoMAF and MoM on labour matters has not been clear or consistent in its application. The MoMAF for example, issued Ministerial Regulation No. 35 in 2015, creating a Human Rights System and Certification process for the industry. However, this self-certification scheme, including with respect to labour labour matters, did not have a role for the labour inspectorate which has the mandate, enforcement powers and expertise to meaningfully address violations in the industry.
As the labour inspectorate continues its efforts to improve its regulation of decent work in the fishing sector, it asked the ILO for assistance in training on fishing vessel inspection. While such skills are no doubt important, it was agreed that a broader consideration of the inspectorate's overall compliance strategy for the sector would be an important starting point with the potential for more systemic, measurable and sustainable impact. Consequently, the workshop here proposed is for a week-long activity with key inspection officials from across the country, social partners and Government counterparts from other Ministries in an effort to better analyse the features and root causes of non-compliance in the Indonesian fishing sector and, as a result, devise targeted and priority compliance interventions. This is also likely to be the first of a set of activities with ILO support to craft and implement a strategic compliance action plan in the fishing sector as a means also to help improve the inspectorate's planning function.