Human Rights Abuses and Risks

It can be challenging to gain a high-level understanding of human rights abuses and risks in a particular country, because data is scattered across multiple governmental and civil society reports and often is limited to only one part of seafood production, such as fishing.

This component of the data tool compiles information from credible government and civil society organization sources to create a snapshot of human rights abuses and risks in the seafood sectors of 92 countries, which represent 98.5% of global seafood production by volume (excluding seaweed). For each, it summarizes:

  • Evidence of forced labor, human trafficking, and/or child labor in fishing, aquaculture and seafood processing.
  • Risk factors for human rights abuses in seafood – flag of convenience, EU red or yellow cards for IUU fishing, and failure to ratify key international conventions and treaties pertaining to human rights.

As of August 2023, our analysis of the data finds:

  • 65% of countries assessed have documented evidence of forced labor, child labor or human trafficking in seafood.
  • 16% of countries assessed have significant risk factors for human rights abuses, including flags of convenience and evidence of illegal fishing.
  • 97% of countries assessed* have not signed all of the key ILO conventions and global treaties that demonstrate their commitment to uphold international standards for human rights protections. *This percentage is calculated using a total of 87 countries due to the exclusion of the Falkland IslandsFaroe IslandsGreenlandHong Kong and Taiwan. Please see their individual profiles (linked) for more details.

Seafood businesses can use this information to gain a high-level understanding of supply chain risk in key countries and prioritize areas for deeper due diligence.

Additional information about the methodology used to compile the data, including how the 92 countries were selected and what data sources are included, can be found by clicking the Methodology button on this page.