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Plan International USA Awarded $5M Grant to Combat Human Trafficking in the Asia-Pacific

WASHINGTON, DC, January 9, 2017-- Plan International USA, in partnership with the People’s Coalition for Fisheries Justice, has been awarded a four-year grant from the United States Department of Labor/Bureau of International Labor Affairs to combat human trafficking and forced labor in the fishing industry. The project is titled Safeguarding Against and Addressing Fishers’ Exploitation at Sea, or SAFE Seas, and will operate in Indonesia and the Philippines.

Building on Plan International’s extensive work on a range of innovative trafficking activities, SAFE Seas focuses its work on improving enforcement to combat labor exploitation and decreasing the social constructs that enable this situation on fishing vessels. Activities will include strengthening, or creating when necessary, rules, institutions, and processes that protect workers, while also strengthening workers’ awareness of rights and reporting abilities. The project will be based in Jakarta and Manila for national advocacy and implemented in several districts within both countries that are known to use risky fishing practices. 

“Forced labor and human trafficking can have devastating consequences on children, young people, and migrants, particularly girls and women,” says Tessie San Martin, President and CEO of Plan International USA. “The SAFE Seas project will provide victims with the tools needed to report exploitation and receive remediation services.”

SAFE Seas will use a rights-based approach in its programming, which embraces the inalienable rights of citizens, and advocates for the legal obligations of governments to realize those rights. These rights include the ability to live in freedom and safety, free from trafficking and torture, and the right to decent work, among others. The project will include engagement from the private sector to strengthen the safety of workers, along with global supply chains. A Safe Fishing Alliance will be created with major fishing industry companies that want to eliminate exploitative and unfair competition. 

Innovative uses of technology will strengthen the impact of hotlines and reporting methods, as well as provide centralized portals for information and communication. Collaboration between governments, fish workers, the private sector, civil society, and communities will be utilized to achieve this holistic approach. The project began implementation in December 2017 and will continue through November 2021. 

About Plan International
Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organization that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. Plan believes in the power and potential of every child. Working together with children, young people, supporters, and partners, Plan strives for a just world, tackling the root causes of the challenges facing girls and all vulnerable children. 

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