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Honorable Chair, fellow delegates, and members of the UnitedNations,”As labor creates the wealth of the country, we demand the passageof such laws as may be necessary to protect it in all its rights.” Much haschanged in labor conditions around the world since John Peter Altgeld saidthose words in the last 19th century, but slavery and labor abuse stillremain in various corners of the international community, and a prominentaisle is Southeast Asia’s fishing sector.Southeast Asia’s fishing sector supports more than 100 million jobsand employs around 10 million fishermen, 270,000 of whom are migrantssuffering from cruel human rights violations.1 Lax regulation and scarceeconomic opportunities have fueled those labor abuse, and the difficulties ofpolicing the ocean have created lawlessness in the region’s high seas.Despite various calls by UN agencies, national governments, activistgroups.even the Vatican.to stamp out illegal fishing derived from forcedlabor, Southeast Asia’s fishing industry still accounts for one-fifths of theworld’s marine production and continues to support the appetites ofconsumers in developed countries. Under this context the Human RightsCouncil has been convened to create measures that can effectively tackleslavery and labor abuse problems in Southeast Asia, and this delegate, onbehalf of Kenya, expresses its Government’s commitment to vigorouslypromote human rights in the region’s fishing industry throughout theConference.KENYAKenya, though to a lesser extent than countries like Thailand, oftenfinds incidences of forced labor and human trafficking in its country andsome of these victims find their way into Kenya’s fishing industry. ButKenya’s fishing industry only accounts for 0.54 percent of the country’sGDP; so the severity of labor problems in the sector is comparatively mild.Kenya has been party to the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the1 Chair Report, Agenda A, Historical Background.KENYAPosition Paper (draft)SUBJECT:2Sea (since March 1989) and to the 1995 UN Fish Stock Agreement (sinceJuly 2004). And in 2010 it has signed the Port State Measures Agreementwhich was adopted to prevent, deter, and eliminate illegal, unreported andunregulated fishing. This delegate sees this Conference as a uniqueopportunity to not only solve labor rights violations in Southeast Asia’sfishing sector but also in all fields. Kenya hopes the policy recommendationsmade by this Council will strengthen labor standards beyond SoutheastAsia and eventually provide a regulatory framework that furthers all laborrights.RECOMMENDATIONS. RATIFY ILO CONVENTION 188. International Labour Organization(ILO) Convention 188 sets specific labor standards protecting the rights ofworkers in the fishing industry and stipulates responsibilities for employersand governments. Technically, ILO conventions become in force if enoughgovernments ratify them but not for those who have not ratified. This mustchange. Kenya believes all countries should ratify ILO Convention 188, andthose who do not should provide a good reason why or become subject topenalties.. RATIFY OR ACCEDE TO THE PORT STATE MEASURESAGREEMENT. As mentioned above, this Agreement was adopted to prevent,deter, and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. There arethose who have not ratified or acceded to it, and Kenya believes all shoulddo so without delay.. BAN FISH IMPORTS CONNECTED TO SLAVERY OR LABOR ABUSE.Many UN members, including the United States and European Union, haveeither banned or threatened to ban fish imports from Southeast Asia’sfishing industry.2 Unless noticeable progress is made by the region’sauthorities to quash illegal labor practices, Kenya believes all countriesshould do the same.

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