Republic of Korea | 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
Not profiled in report
U.S. Department of Labor
2021 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor
Not profiled in report
U.S. Department of State
2022 Trafficking in Persons Report
Evidence of trafficking in the fishing sector. Traffickers targeted intellectually disabled South Korean men to work on fishing vessels and fish farms. South Korea is a transit point for Southeast Asian fishermen subjected to forced labor and there are ongoing reports of forced labor among migrant workers in the Korean fishing fleet, one of the world’s largest distant-water fishing fleets.
Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch
Seafood Social Risk Tool Profile
No country risk profile available
Additional civil society organization reports documenting human rights abuses:


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)
No 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 1 of 10
    • C105 - Abolition of Forced Labour Convention