December 13, 2022
AIT Partners with Taiwan Counterparts
to Improve Protection of Labor Rights in Taiwan’s Distant-Waters Industry
The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), partnering with the Council of Agriculture’s Fisheries Agency and FCF Co., Ltd., hosted an international seminar titled “Deploying Technology-Enabled Solutions to Protect Labor Rights in Taiwan’s Distant-Waters Fishing Industry” in Kaohsiung on December 13, 2022. This international seminar marked the conclusion of a multi-year collaborative project to help Taiwan’s fishing industry better protect the rights of migrant workers in the fisheries sector.
During phase one, a series of workshops was organized to facilitate dialogue and collaboration between Taiwan’s regulatory authorities, civil society, and the local fishing industry. In phase two of the project, AIT and the Taiwan Fisheries Agency conducted a small grants competition, providing over NT$1.6 million in funding to two teams, one from National Taiwan Ocean University and one from National Cheng Kung University, to develop new technology-enabled solutions to be utilized by distant-waters fleet operators and regulators to better protect labor rights of migrant workers in the fisheries sector.
The December 13 international seminar showcased these two new tech-enabled solutions, together with other international technology research and innovations to raise awareness about existing or new cutting-edge technologies that have the potential to be utilized in the future to improve labor rights protections. Stakeholders including fishery experts from Taiwan and the international community, represented by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Stanford University’s Center for Ocean Solutions, USAID, Global Fishing Watch, Bumble Bee, academia, NGOs, fishing vessel operators, as well as low earth orbit satellite communications experts, seafood industry representatives, and representatives from Indonesia and the Philippines all gathered in Kaohsiung to network, share best practices, and jointly address the challenges facing global fisheries.
As AIT Director Sandra Oudkirk noted at the opening of the seminar: “As a global leader in innovation, with a society that strongly values human rights, I am confident that Taiwan will rise to the challenge and utilize innovative solutions to improve labor conditions in its fishing industry.” The United States, Taiwan, and other like-minded democracies are working to build safe, reliable, and trustworthy supply chains that deliver economic benefits that reflect our shared values.