Pacific Fisheries Abuses: Testimony of Fijian Fishing Widows, Mother and Sister

Press Release

24th July 2019

“He was stabbed with a knife below his heart by a Chinese crewman.”

London. UK. In partnership with Fijian-based NGO, Pacific Dialogue, Human Rights at Sea publishes the fifth case study in the current series exposing the consequences and challenges for families of seafarers who have suffered and died as a result of human and labour rights abuses onboard Fijian-crewed fishing vessels.

Human Rights at Sea and Pacific Dialogue expose the first-hand testimony of the widows and families of Fijian crewmen who died after many years operating as crew on longline fishing vessels operating out of Fiji. The latest case study highlights the conditions and challenges faced by seafarers’ family members left behind after the loss of their menfolk as breadwinners.

The study is aimed at exposing and educating those who do not understand the background to, and the context of, commercial fishing in the Pacific region with a view to positively influencing regional legislative change for better working conditions, human rights protection, and increased local government and commercial family support for those left behind.

“When her husband died, Susanna got no compensation, nor funeral or other expenses; the company didn’t even pay his last salary.”

Pacific Fisheries Abuses: Testimony of Fijian Fishing Widows, Mother and Sister – July 2019

Download the fifth case study in the present series covering the effects of labour and human rights abuses for Fijian fishermen and their families, including failures to address impunity, and provide support to widows and their families.


Important Note to Readers

Human Rights at Sea continues to publish educational materials, publications, investigative case studies of individual and family testimony highlighting unacceptable conditions onboard vessels of all tonnages, as well as throughout the associated maritime supply chain, in order to establish greater public awareness of the issues raised without compromising our editorial freedom.

The charity does not subscribe to any imposed protocols and agreements with other entities effectively limiting the ability to report freely and objectively disclose facts, including the reality of unacceptable labour, and wider human rights abuses at sea.

The charity will therefore continue to take a legal and moral stand whenever and wherever it can to fairly advocate for the betterment of human rights, working conditions, and the reduction in abuse at sea. This includes pressing issues such as the criminalisation of seafarers and humanitarian rescuers, abuses towards migrants, impunity of flag States in transparently reacting to and addressing reported abuse, the expansion of the positive contributory role of civil society organisations in the maritime sector, and the provision of greater awareness of effective remedies when abuse occurs.

Our Ask in return

We rely on public and private donations to be able to continue this invaluable and independent work free of bias and interference and every donation, however small or large, goes to assure continuation of our transparent and objective front-end work ensuring that ‘human rights apply at sea, as they do on land’. Thank you.

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