Human Rights Abuses and Risks: Methodology

The human rights abuses and risks component of the tool draws on publicly available data from a range of organizations and websites to create a country-level snapshot of human rights abuses and risk factors.

Rationale for Countries Prioritized

The tool features 92 countries, territories, and autonomous regions (referred to collectively as “countries” for shorthand purposes). These were selected because they contribute at least 0.1% by volume to global seafood production (excluding seaweed). Collectively, the 92 countries produce 98.5% of global seafood by volume (excluding seaweed).

The Certification & Ratings Collaboration may adjust the criterion for country selection in the future.

Rationale for Sources of Evidence and Risk Factors Prioritized

The tool draws from multiple data sources from around the world to provide information on evidence of forced labor, child labor and human trafficking or existing risk factors. While there is not a single source that can offer a complete picture of the social impact of seafood production, the compilation of the data in one place allows you to better understand the evidence of abuses or risk factors that exist in a country, compare countries, and draw your own conclusions based on available data. This tool is unique because it focuses on information that is specific to the seafood sector, and includes fisheries, aquaculture, and seafood processing.

Sources of evidence of forced labor, child labor, and/or human trafficking in seafood include:

Risk factors include:

  • Identification by the International Transport Workers Federation as a flag of convenience. 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.
  • Subject to an active yellow or red card from the European Union for failing to tackle illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. 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 international labor conventions and treaties. Ratifying key treaties and international labor conventions indicates a country’s commitment to uphold international standards. Key treaties and conventions include:
    • The Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing.
    • The ILO C188 Work in Fishing Convention (No. 188).
    • The 10 ILO Core Labor Conventions.

Criteria for the Additional Civil Society Reports Listed

If a country has evidence of forced labor, child labor, and/or human trafficking in seafood and there are civil society organization reports documenting human rights abuses, those are listed on the country profile as an additional source of information.

The criteria for these civil society organization reports is that they are credible, public reports documenting evidence of human rights abuses within the past five years in one or more of the country’s seafood sectors.

  • Credible means the report is from a public or private entity that employs ethical and impartial investigative standards based on primary sources and rigorous verification. Examples of these entities include reputable international or local non-governmental or civil society organizations, reputable international or local media outlets, and government agencies.
  • Public means reports that are in the public domain and available on the source’s website.

The Certification & Ratings Collaboration does not endorse the contents of any report listed on the site, but does confirm that the report meets its criteria for inclusion.