By Ock Hyun-ju | Korea Herald
5 Sept 2017
Migrant fishermen are exposed to human rights abuses, activists and human rights lawyers said Tuesday, calling on the government and ship owners to step up efforts to improve the situation.
Kim Jong-chul, a lawyer for the Seoul-based Advocates for Public Interest Law, claimed that migrant fishing crews are at risk of forcible labor and human trafficking, as they are unable to seek help or leave work while at sea.
“Most migrant fishermen were poor, less educated and had job insecurity in their own countries, so they sign contracts even though they are aware of appalling labor conditions,” he said during a forum jointly hosted by APIL, International Organization for Migration’s Korea office and the Human Rights Network for Migrant Fishermen.
“South Korean government and ship operators are partially accountable for such abuses.”