Occupational safety and health

Central Java takes bold steps to enhance occupational safety and health on fishing vessels

ILO continues to be at the forefront of efforts to promote occupational safety and health in the fishing industry, enhancing the capacity of labour inspectors to prevent risks and hazards onboard fishing vessels.

News | Batang, Indonesia | 23 October 2023
Participatory action-oriented training on occupational safety and health on board fishing vessels, Indonesia, 29/09/2023. © Ali Luuthfi/ILO
Central Java, Indonesia (ILO News) – In a significant move towards ensuring decent working conditions for fishers, Central Java Province has taken concrete measures to improve occupational safety and health (OSH) onboard fishing vessels. This initiative is part of the ongoing efforts by the Provincial Marine Affairs and Fisheries Office and the Provincial Manpower and Transmigration Office of Central Java, in collaboration with the International Labour Organization (ILO) through its EU-funded Ship to Shore Rights South East Asia programme (S2SR SEA), to strengthen labour inspection in the fishing sector in Central Java, Indonesia.

Under the S2SR SEA programme, the ILO has been collaborating closely with the Indonesian government to enhance coordination among relevant government institutions, harmonize regulations in the fishing sector, and strengthen labour inspection systems. One of the programme's key objectives is to ensure the safety and well-being of workers operating on board fishing vessels.

In a significant development, the Provincial Marine Affairs and Fisheries Office and the Provincial Manpower and Transmigration Office of Central Java Province joined forces to establish a joint inspection mechanism for fishing vessels. This collaboration culminated in the issuance of Decree Number 523/012 Year of 2023 by the Regional Secretary of Central Java Province, creating a Joint Monitoring Team for Labour Norms on Fisheries Vessels at Fishing Ports within the jurisdiction of the province.

"At the heart of our mission is the welfare of the workers, and this initiative is a giant leap towards ensuring their health and safety," remarked Fendiawan, Head of Provincial Marine Affairs and Fisheries Office.

To prepare for the effective implementation of the new decree, the two local government offices organized a training programme on 29 September 2023 in Batang, Central Java with the technical support of the ILO. This training, conducted using the Participatory Action-Oriented Training (PAOT) method, engaged tripartite partners, including government representatives, fishing vessel owners, fishers, and skippers from across the province.

A highlight of the training was the action checklist exercise at Klidang Lor fishing port in Batang, Central Java, where participants gained first-hand experience in inspecting the risks and hazards on board fishing vessels. Through group discussions, participants identified areas for improvement and shared best practices in ensuring OSH compliance.

“Fishing is well-known to be one of the most dangerous occupations worldwide, with fishers facing a high incidence of injuries and deaths at work. On a fishing vessel, ensuring a safe working environment must be the first priority for everyone on board,” said Mi Zhou, Chief Technical Adviser, Ship to Shore Right South East Asia programme

"The collaboration with the International Labour Organization has empowered us to create a tangible change for fishers," stated Ahmad Aziz, Head of the Provincial Manpower and Transmigration Office of Central Java.

In total, 66 individuals participated in the training, reflecting a strong commitment from various stakeholders to enhance the safety and health of those working in the fishing industry. It is hoped that this initiative will not only raise awareness about OSH but also facilitate the full implementation of the new local decree in Central Java Province.

This collaborative effort signifies a critical step towards creating a safer and more secure working environment for the fishing community in Central Java, ultimately improving the livelihoods of those who depend on this vital industry.

Ship to Shore Rights South East Asia is an initiative of the EU and the UN, implemented by the ILO in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with the overall objective of promoting regular and safe labour migration and decent work for all migrant workers in the fishing and seafood processing sectors. The programme addresses the characteristics of working in the fishing and seafood processing sectors as well as the barriers and risks present during migration, which can lead to unsafe migration, decent work deficits, abuse and forced labour.