SAFE Seas

Indonesia and the Philippines

We work to ensure all people are protected.

Safeguarding Against, And Addressing Fishers’ Exploitation at Sea (SAFE Seas) focuses on improving enforcement to combat labor exploitation and decreasing the social constructs that enable this situation on fishing vessels.

What are we doing?

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.

SAFE Seas uses 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 includes engagement from the private sector to strengthen the safety of workers, along with global supply chains. A Safe Fishing Alliance is being created with major fishing industry companies, and key government and civil society actors, which want to eliminate exploitative and unfair competition.

Innovative uses of technology 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 are utilized to achieve this holistic approach.

The project is based in Jakarta and Manila for national advocacy and implemented in several districts within both countries that are known to use risky fishing practices.

Project stats and facts:

  • The project budget was $5,000,000.
  • The project is strengthening regulations and policies to address labor exploitation on fishing vessels.
  • The project works with relevant government agencies to improve coordination and raise the profile of labor issues.
  • The project encourages the use of multi-disciplinary inspection models to include checks for forced labor, human trafficking and other exploitative practices on fishing vessels.
  • The project engaged the private sector to establish the Safe Fishing Alliance (SFA).
  • The project engages with fishers to help ensure that reporting mechanisms are relevant, accessible and responsive to their cases and needs.
  • The project engages other international organizations that have experience in forced labor/trafficking in persons to work on solutions to help reduce incidences.
Fachly walks along the beach
Fachly walks along the beach

SAFE Seas aims to keep young people like Fachly in Indonesia safe from exploitation in the fishing industry.

Angel is a 16-year-old in the Philippines
Angel is a 16-year-old in the Philippines

This project aims to safeguard young people from trafficking in persons.

Our projects in Indonesia and the Philippines

More about

SAFE Seas

Technical brief: The gendered impact of forced labor and trafficking in persons on fishing vessels

Plan International’s SAFE Seas project explores the impact of forced labor and trafficking in persons on females in the fishing industry.
Get the brief

Safe Fishing Alliance: Protecting fishers from forced labor and human trafficking

Plan International, with funding from the U.S. Department of Labor, is working to reduce forced labor and human trafficking in the fishing industry in Indonesia and the Philippines.
Read more

The SAFE Seas program brochure

View Plan’s program brochure for SAFE Seas, a program in the Philippines and Indonesia that is improving enforcement to combat labor exploitation.
Download the brochure

Ending forced labor and human trafficking in the fishing industry

SAFE Seas is helping to change this for fish workers like Fandi in Indonesia and the Philippines.
Learn more

Inauguration ceremony of SAFE Seas Fishers’ Center

Indonesia’s Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries launched the SAFE Seas Fisher’s Center. The Center will raise awareness about human trafficking and forced labor, and be a point of service for fish workers.
Read more

COVID-19 and the fishing industry

COVID-19 is disrupting the global fishing supply chain. Indonesia is seeking to capitalize on this moment, which requires taking the safeguarding of fish workers seriously.
Read the blog

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