Ghana | Human Rights Abuses and Risks

Last Updated: July 2023

EVIDENCE | Forced labor, child labor, and/or human trafficking in seafood

Source Details
U.S. Department of Labor
2022 List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor
Evidence of child and forced labor in fish goods and tilapia.
U.S. Department of Labor
2021 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor
Evidence of child labor found in fishing, including for tilapia; preparing bait, nets, and fishing gear; launching, paddling, and draining canoes; diving for fish; casting and pulling fishing nets and untangling them underwater; sorting, picking, cleaning, smoking, transporting, and selling fish; cleaning and repairing nets; and building and repairing boats. Evidence of forced child labor found in fishing.
U.S. Department of State
2022 Trafficking in Persons Report
Evidence of trafficking in the fishing sector, including child and forced labor in inland and coastal fishing; deep diving; and preparing fish.
Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch
Seafood Social Risk Tool Profile
Evidence identified at the seafood-industry level in the Ghana country risk profile.
Additional civil society organization reports documenting human rights abuses:
2022, Environmental Justice Foundation, On the Precipice: Crime and corruption in Ghana's Chinese-owned trawler fleet
2021, Environmental Justice Foundation, Powerless Bystanders: Ghana’s fisheries observers struggle to curb crimes and ensure their own safety at sea
2020, Environmental Justice Foundation, Fear, Hunger, and Violence: Human rights in Ghana’s industrial trawl fleet
2019, Environmental Justice Foundation, Blood and Water


Risk Factor​ Status Details
Flag of Convenience
(International Transport Workers Federation)
No Flags of Convenience are connected to the occurrence of human trafficking and forced labor in fishing. Vessels registered to Flag of Convenience states may lack a legitimate connection to the flag state and may be subject to less rigorous management and oversight by the flag state.
Active yellow or red card for failing to tackle illegal fishing
(European Union)
Yes (yellow) The European Union gives countries yellow and red cards for failing in their requirements under international law to take action against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. There is evidence linking IUU fishing to an increased risk of human trafficking and forced labor on board fishing vessels.
Failure to ratify key treaties and international labor conventions

Ratifying key treaties and international labor conventions indicates a country’s commitment to uphold international standards.

  • Port State Measures Agreement: Ratified
  • ILO C188 Work in Fishing Convention: Not ratified
  • ILO Core Labor Conventions: Not ratified 2 of 10
    • C155 - Occupational Safety and Health Convention
    • C187 - Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention