S'pore urged to help stop the exploitation of trafficked fishermen

The Singapore Government should "seriously evaluate" re-flagging foreign fishing vessels which dock here to help curb the exploitation of trafficked fishermen, said a recent study.

Academic Dr Sallie Yea studied the cases of 63 trafficked Filipino fishermen who were on long-haul fishing vessels that dock in Singapore. Her paper was presented at a talk held on Tuesday by migrant workers' rights group Transient Workers Count Too.

As such trafficking is not committed by "Singapore-flagged ships, by Singapore employers, or within Singapore waters", the Government has said before that it has no jurisdiction to deal with such cases.

But Dr Yea's report suggests that the Government could evaluate the possibility of adopting measures similar to New Zealand, where foreign fishing vessels are re-flagged with a New Zealand flag so that they are subject to country's labour laws.

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