Open to advice from all parties, Fisheries Agency of Taiwan Committed to Guarantee Rights and Benefits of Foreign Crews Employed Overseas
In response to Greenpeace’s press release titling “A Yellow Card from US? Things Taiwanese Government Should do in Prevention of Possible US’ Import Ban on Fish Product.” on November 18, 2020, Fisheries Agency of Taiwan expresses that the Agency is open to advice from non-governmental organizations and has been exchanging views with such organizations through relevant meetings. Regarding the inclusion of Taiwan-caught fish into the U.S. Department of Labor’s List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor on September 30 this year, the Agency states that it will strengthen improvement actions from aspects of laws and regulations, policy implementation and corporate responsibility promotion, and that several policy implementation measures will soon be brought forward.
In respect to the addition of fish from Taiwan to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Forced Labor List on September 30 this year and considering the adverse impact the List may have on customers and lead to people’s negative impression about Taiwan, the Agency has been proactively discussing possible remedial actions with relevant departments and industrial groups.
The Agency further explains its improvement actions on laws and regulations, policy implementation and corporate responsibility promotion. In the aspect of laws and regulations, the Executive Yuan has tasked the Minister of Labor to examine the possibility of the incorporation of the Work in Fishing Convention of International Labor Organization (ILO-C188) into domestic laws where the Agency and other ministries have been providing assistance; as for policy implementation, the Agency has been taking every feasible action to enforce the government measures and enhance the quality of questionnaire interview with foreign crews about salary payment and working environment improvement such as working hours. Additionally, the Agency has taken opportunities to promote corporate responsibility in events including “Seminar on Challenges and Prospects faced by Taiwan’s Distant Water Fisheries” on November 13, 2020, and “Discussion Meeting over the Inclusion of Taiwan-caught Fish into the U.S.’s Forced Labor” on November 19, where relevant fisheries associations/fishermen’s associations and certificate authorities are invited to conceive remedial actions. According to the Agency, the majority of the attendees can recognize the importance of the idea of corporate responsibility.
The Agency says that it will continue the cooperation with the judicial and police authority to strengthen the expertise on the identification of human trafficking victims and improve handling skill, if cases involving forced labor or human trafficking were found, the Agency will immediately forward them to the judicial and police authority for further investigation to combat mistreatment including violence onboard and forced labor.
Fisheries Agency of Taiwan lastly expresses that the Agency attaches great importance to the enhancement of the rights and benefits of foreign crews employed overseas as much as non-governmental organizations with the same focus. In addition to listening to suggestions from organizations and fisheries operators, the Agency also urges vessel owners to bear their corporate responsibility by taking good care of fishing crews and maintaining a harmonious relationship.
Contact Point: Deputy Director-General Mr. Kuo-Ping Lin
Contact E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org