Legal Loopholes Lead to Human Rights Abuses on Taiwanese Fishing Boats: Report

An Indonesian magazine has found that many Indonesian workers working on Taiwanese fishing vessels are inexperienced.

The News Lens
Date: 2017/01/13
By: ZiQing Low

A joint investigation by reporters from Taiwan and Indonesia has revealed new details about widespread abuse faced by Indonesians working in Taiwan’s fishing industry.

Indonesian magazine Tempo and Taiwan-based online publication The Reporter found the number of Indonesians working on Taiwanese fishing vessels is four times higher than the Taiwan Fisheries Agency’s 2015 official number of 9,000.

By cross-referencing records of Indonesians boarding Taiwanese fishing boats at major ports in Indonesia, South Africa and other countries, the Indonesian Ministry of Transport now believes that up to 40,000 Indonesians are working on Taiwanese fishing boats, Tempo reports. However, the Indonesian government does not have official statistics of the worker numbers.

Tracing the reason behind this disparity, Tempo found large numbers of “blank” crew identification documents for sale. Workers wishing to work on Taiwan fishing vessels are required to hold these identification documents, which are processed by brokers and then approved and issued by the harbor master’s office.    [FULL  STORY]

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