ILO and BRIN kick off a joint survey on decent work in marine fishing in Indonesia

To support more efficient policies and interventions that better protect Indonesian fishers from forced labour, the ILO’s 8.7 Accelerator Lab programme and the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) conducts a joint survey on fishers’ working conditions in Indonesia.

News | Jakarta, Indonesia | 15 January 2024
A kick-off meeting of the ILO and the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) marking the beginning of the survey on Decent Work in Marine Fishing in Indonesia. © ILO
The ILO’s 8.7 Accelerator Lab programme in collaboration with the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) conducted a kick-off survey workshop on Decent Work in Marine Fishing in Indonesia in Jakarta on 5 December. The workshop also marked the beginning of the joint survey that would be conducted from November 2023 until September 2024.

Through the involvement of relevant ministries and other stakeholders, the results of the survey could be used as an evidence-based policy guidance on the target of Sustainable Development Goals 8.7 on the elimination of forced labour and child labour."

Professor Tri Nuke Pudjiastuti, a BRIN’s Senior Researcher
Targeted 3,200 fishers as respondents at various fishing ports across the country, the survey aims to measure working conditions in marine fishing and asses any potential gaps in decent work, including fundamental principles and rights at work. The results of the survey will be used for strengthening policy and programme development to provide better protection for the rights of fishers.

Professor Tri Nuke Pudjiastuti, a BRIN’s Senior Researcher, highlighted the importance of this survey as part of the development of science-based policy and of science-based advocacy. “The survey is not only important from the perspective of knowledge, but also from the perspective of making better changes in policies and their implementation. Through the involvement of relevant ministries and other stakeholders, the results of the survey could be used as an evidence-based policy guidance on the target of Sustainable Development Goals 8.7 on the elimination of forced labour and child labour,” she stated.

Meanwhile, Francesca Francavilla, Senior Economist from ILO Geneva said that the reliable data is key in addressing forced labour in the fishing sectors and in designing efficient policies and interventions to ensure decent working conditions for fishers. “Indonesia is the first country kicking off the survey on the prevalence and characteristics of forced labour and trafficking for forced labour in the fishing industry. A similar survey will also be conducted in the other two countries of Ghana and South Africa,” she said.

Issues covered by the survey includes working hours and stays in the vessel, contract and wages, health and safety, living conditions as well as recruitment and travel to the vessel, recruitment costs, and freedom of movement. The survey also covers workers employed in vessels listed in national registers, which fish or/and dock in the country, and workers who live in households in the national territory at the time of the survey and that engaged in marine fishing at any time during the last five years.

Indonesia is the first country kicking off the survey on the prevalence and characteristics of forced labour and trafficking for forced labour in the fishing industry. A similar survey will also be conducted in the other two countries of Ghana and South Africa."

Francesca Francavilla, Senior Economist from ILO Geneva
To ensure the quality of the survey, Muhammad Nour, National Coordinator of the ILO’s 8.7 Accelerator Lab Programme in Indonesia, explained that a National Steering Committee (NSC) and a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) are going to be established. The NSC is in charge of reviewing the progress of work, providing policy direction and ensuring that the survey achieves the needed results based on the set goal; while the TAC is responsible for providing inputs through all the phases of the study.

“The specific scope of the survey will be discussed with these committees,” he added.

The kick-off workshop also presented other speakers: Hendra Sugandhi, Head of Fishery and Livestock Committee of the Indonesian Employers’ Association (Apindo) provided an overview on the fishing industry in Indonesia, Muhammad Iqbal Gade, Coordinator Fishing Vessel and Fishing Gear of the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries on employment policy and workforce in the capture fisheries and Lena Kurniawaty, Coordinator for Labour Inspection System of the Ministry of Manpower on labour inspection system in the fishing vessels.

The ILO’s 8.7 Accelerator Lab programme is created to accelerate progress towards the eradication of forced labour and the elimination of child labour. Target countries which have been selected to implement Multi Partner Fund’s interventions in the fisheries sector are Indonesia, South Africa and Ghana and the Democratic Republic of Congo for the mining sector.