Taiwanese Social Welfare NGO Working with Human Rights at Sea
On October 28, in Taipei, the charitable NGOs Human Rights at Sea and the Catholic faith-based NGO Rerum Novarum Social Service Center of the Society of Jesus met to discuss respective work and projects related to victims of human rights abuses and available social services in support of migrant fishermen amongst other peoples and workers.
Established in 1971, the Center’s mission is to “engage in direct service to contact and accompany people who need our service” undertaken through education, participation and reform for those persons who are the most disadvantaged.
With values of human dignity, cooperation and concern based on providing services and support to the most disadvantaged, the Center’s work at the front line of social welfare in the fishing industry is focused on Filipino, Vietnamese and Indonesian migrant workers.
This is achieved through the “Migrant Foreign Fishermen’s Services” which delivers:
• Counselling on the rights of migrant workers employed on fishing vessels, psychological support and counselling, connection with social welfare resources, assistance, support and group activities.
• Empowerment of migrant workers employed on fishing vessels.
• Collection of supplies, including winter clothing needed by fishermen.
Human Rights at Sea CEO, David Hammond, accompanied by modern slavery researcher Mina Chiang met with Director Chia-Ling Chung and Commissioner, Jason Lee, to explore closer co-operation mutually supporting each other’s efforts to achieve social justice in the maritime environment and specifically within the Taiwanese fishing sector.
Chung said: “Rerum Novarum Center has always been hoping to connect with resources and networks to be the support for the fishermen. Through today’s meeting we have received more platform resource connections with international partners. We are looking forward to closer collaboration in the future.”
Hammond said: “Today, we have had detailed discussions and shared information concerning incidents and trends of abuse in the Taiwanese fishing sector. These discussions have been extremely valuable in our on-going co-operation with a Taiwanese welfare NGO working at the front end.”
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