Vigo Dialogue on decent work in fisheries and aquaculture

Third Announcement

Decent Work for Blue Growth: Towards Social Responsibility in the Fish Business

Vigo, Spain, 4 October 2016


Human rights and labour abuses including poor working conditions in the seafood sector have become widely publicized issues with reported cases of forced labour, human trafficking, child labour, but also poor occupational safety and health on fishing vessels and fish processing plants. Social sustainability and the call for decent work in the seafood sector are moving up the agenda of governments, retail and seafood industry, auditing and certification schemes, fish workers' unions, consumer groups and other civil society organizations. The Vigo Dialogue sessions in 2014 and 2015 discussed the promotion of decent work issues in fisheries and aquaculture, and in 2015 focused on benefits and incentives of decent work in the sector. Participants highlighted how promoting workers' welfare reduces the risk of bad reputation and increases workers' commitment to the company operations and business. Ensuring social responsibility and collaboration between actors along the whole value chain in a pre-competitive environment are essential as are the right to collective bargaining and protection of vulnerable migrant workers. Governments have a leading role to play in exercising coastal and flag state responsibilities along with the promotion and enforcement of international labour standards. The Vigo Dialogue in 2015 suggested that work be initiated towards a reference framework on decent work in the seafood sector.

Scope and programme

This first announcement and call for participation for the Vigo Dialogue in 2016 invites interested stakeholders to contribute to:
  1. Sharing experiences and proposals for action for the promotion of decent work in the seafood business;
  2. Information sharing about initiatives addressing labour issues and due diligence in seafood supply chains.
Promoting the decent work agenda in fisheries and aquaculture: Progress made and next actions

Seafood industry representatives, civil society organizations including fish workers' unions, government representatives and international organizations will share information on advances and experiences made in relation to the promotion of the decent work agenda, on upcoming initiatives, projects and events, as well as on proposals for action, including collaborative action and joint processes. Participants will be invited to highlight ongoing and future activities covering issues such as elimination of forced labour, discrimination, child labour, freedom of association and collective bargaining, occupational health and safety, training, working conditions, benefits, wages, employment opportunities also for youth, women and migrant workers.

Addressing labour issues and due diligence in seafood supply chains

There is growing interest in better understanding and managing labour issues in domestic, international and global seafood supply chains. Sustainability initiatives, including certification and labelling schemes, active in seafood value chains have already included social performance or accountability criteria, or are increasingly considering their use to inform seafood markets of fish produced in socially acceptable ways, with a particular focus on labour issues and conditions. Decent work issues in global supply chains – including seafood – have also been discussed during the 2016 ILO International Labour Conference. There are a number of international instruments such as the ILO Tripartite Declaration of principles concerning multinational enterprises and social policy, the UNHRC Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OECD/FAO Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains, which address human rights, labour issues and due diligence policies and practices. These instruments could well be of interest to companies and fish workers' representatives active in seafood supply chains. Panelists and participants will share information about sustainability initiatives addressing labour issues in seafood supply chains and discuss related due diligence approaches for possible use in seafood supply chains. Participants may discuss opportunities/benefits as well as challenges/constraints of
labour-sensitive sustainability initiatives and due diligence guidelines and their application in seafood enterprises and supply chains. Participants will share conclusions and propose recommendations on adaptation, negotiation, uptake and implementation of labour-sensitive approaches to advance the decent work agenda in seafood supply chains and associated enterprises. This event is arranged by FAO and will take place during the Conxemar International Frozen Seafood Exhibition and Congress on Cephalopods, Vigo, 3-6 October 2016.

Provisional Agenda

Morning session: Promoting decent work in fisheries and aquaculture:  Progress made and next actions  (09:00 - 13:00)                          





Welcoming remarks by FAO, ILO, CONXEMAR






M van der Zwan


International Coalition of Fisheries Associations

J Garat Pérez


National Fisheries Institute

J Connelly


OPAGAC: Spanish Standard: Tuna from responsible fishing

J Morón



C.A. Berto


Consumer Goods Forum

D Bergeret


C Castro Neila

Civil society perspective including fishworkers’ unions



Towards social responsibility in the fish business: The promotion of ILO Convention 188 in the fisheries sector

L Baz


International Union of Food and Allied workers

K Buketov


European Transport Workers’ Federation

JM Trujillo


International Collective in Support of Fishworkers

A Garcia


Environmental Justice Foundation

I Vidal





D  Ndiaye


Decent work in fisheries and aquaculture

Praulai Nootmorn

Viet Nam


Manh Cuong Doan  Duong Van Cuong

UK -  Seafish

Responsible Fishing Scheme

H Duggan


Promoting C188 Work in Fishing Convention and Forced Labour Protocol; Fishers first – Good practices to end labor exploitation at seaOslo Conference on labour exploitation in fisheries

B Wagner; S de Bruijn


IMO/FAO Joint Working Group on IUU fishing, multi-agency inspections of labour conditions, Small- scale fisheries Guidelines, COFI

E D’Andrea; U Barg



S Anthonysamy





Lunch break (13:00 -  14:00)


Afternoon session: Addressing labour issues and due diligence in seafood supply chains (14:00 - 18:00)





Introduction and objectives of the session

U Barg


Decent Work in Global Supply Chains – focus of recent International Labour Conference

S de Bruijn

Shrimp Task Force

Shrimp sustainable supply chain task force – leading Thailand’s seafood supply chain towards a more sustainable pathway

D Guelker


Fighting against human rights abuses in fisheries:  SFP’s role and tools

P Ferreiro


Aquaculture Stewardship Council

I Pollard


Labour considerations in the Marine Stewardship Council Programme

O Oloruntuyi

Index Initiative

The Seafood Stewardship Index

G Haverkamp


Occupational health safety, social criteria, risk assessment on social practice

K Uhlig


How Naturland standards promote fair labour conditions of its certified fisheries

S Bergleiter


Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative: Social sustainability benchmarking efforts

N Wehner





Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

K Drew


Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains

U Barg


Presentation of findings


Wrap up

Conclusions and recommendations – the way ahead


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