Join Our Panel: the Rights of Seafarers and Sea-Based Migrant Workers in Asia-Pacific (Side Event IMA 5th Global Assembly)
Posted on November 17, 2022
Category: Event

The Asia Pacific maritime sector is one of the most influential sectors in the world economy. Southeast Asia, geographically, lies in a strategic position where its seas play a dominant role: more than 80% of the surface area is covered by oceans, being home to more than 31,000 island economies. In the fisheries aspect, from 2008 to 2018, East Asia continued to be the main contributor to aquaculture production in the Asia Pacific region, with a contribution of 65% to 70%. The ocean based economy provides significant numbers of jobs in East and Southeast Asia as OECD states the East Asia and Pacific region has the largest number of jobs (over 20 million)  in these industries with rising jobs.

The high demand in this sector is not matched by the availability of existing resources including human resources. To maintain product price competitiveness, ship owners often recruit migrant crew members with low wages and far from decent work conditions increasing the vulnerabilities of seafeares who are at risk of human rights violations, exploitations, slavery practices to human trafficking. However, very limited knowledge about the situations of workers, particularly those who are migrants, in the sea-based sectors are shared among stakeholders due to the physical distance and other factors that makes communication with workers in the sea difficult. 

The Rights of Seafarers and Sea-Based Migrant Workers in Asia-Pacific

In order to strengthen solidarity and cooperation with seafarers in migrant rights and labour rights movements, there is a strong interest among civil society actors to learn from experiences of seafarers and related actors. 

This side event will invite migrant seafarers and sea-based workers and civil society actors working with them to discuss situations of these workers including the impact of COVID-19 pandemic and its ongoing socio-economic effects in order to identify key issues, actors and opportunities for international and cross-regional advocacy strategies. 


  • Eni Lestari, Chairperson, International Migrants Alliance
  • Chelo Mori, Asia and Middle East Program, Sasakawa Peace Foundation

Panel Speakers

  • Edwin Dela Cruz, President, International Seafarers Action Center (Philippines) 
  • Daniel Awigra, Executive Director, Human Rights Working Group (Indonesia)
  • Lennon Ying-Dah Wong, Director, Department of Policies on Migrant Workers, Serve the People Association (Taiwan)
  • Jessica Rojas, Pacific Coast Coalition for Seafarers (US)


Mariko Hayashi, Co-Founder, BEBESEA

The event

Date : Thursday, 1st December, 2022  

Time : 7.30pm – 9.30pm Bangkok time (GMT+7)

In-person location : Nana Bhirom Hall, Nouvo City Hotel, Bangkok

Zoom location :





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