The outsourcing of production and processing activities to the bottom of seafood global value chains (GVCs) in Asia has resulted in intensive labour exploitation and abuse of vulnerable workers—especially women migrant workers from marginalized communities. Workers at the base of seafood value chains in Bangladesh, India and Thailand suffer non-enforcement of legal rights and violations of ILO labour standards, including restricted freedom of association, low wages, gender discrimination, workplace violence, wage theft and child and forced labour. The iteration of these rights violations across Asian countries testifies to the structural nature of these rights violations, reproduced across contexts and integrally linked to the structure of the seafood GVC. Moreover, with 200 countries currently participating in the seafood GVC, working conditions and wages in developing countries have significant impact on wages and working conditions in developing and developed countries alike.
This report details the context of intensive labour exploitation and abuse of vulnerable workers in the Asian seafood industry and elsewhere.