Southeast Asia—Addressing Labor Exploitation in Fishing in ASEAN (ALFA)

Client: U.S. Department of Labor

Duration: 2022-2026

Region: Asia and the Pacific

Country: Regional

Solutions: Environment

Collectively, the 10 countries that comprise the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) contribute more than 20 percent of global fish production. As the fishing industry has tried to meet growing global demand, oversight has not kept pace. As consumer demand has grown, competitive pressures and declining catch rates, coupled with insufficient regulation and minimal oversight, have created incentives for illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, and allowed exploitative and abusive treatment of workers to proliferate, including treatment that rises to the level of forced labor and human trafficking.

The Addressing Labor Exploitation in Fishing in ASEAN (ALFA) project works with ASEAN to build the capacity to coordinate and collaborate across its member countries to mitigate forced labor and promote responsible labor practices in the fishing industry.

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Sample Activities

  • Work with ASEAN’s Senior Labour Officials Meeting (SLOM), which represents the ministries of labor at the national level and ultimately those on the ground responsible for monitoring, reporting on, and addressing labor exploitation in the fishing industry, to increase capacity to address forced labor and abusive working conditions in the region’s fishing industry.
  • Close knowledge gaps within and between key sectors and stakeholders and provide opportunities to share lessons learned.
  • Enhance opportunities for ASEAN engagement with the private sector, worker organizations, and civil society on responsible business and labor practices and elimination of forced labor in the fishing industry.


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