Filipino migrant fishers constitute the second largest group of foreign workers on Taiwan-flagged fishing vessels. Since the early 2000s, Verité has documented labor conditions and risks faced by Filipino migrant fishers in Taiwan, noting that many of them were undocumented, recruited through informal channels, and vulnerable to trafficking for forced labor and other forms of exploitation. In more recent years, in Verité’s experience, more Filipinos appear to be recruited through formal channels. However, Verité has found evidence that Filipino migrants continue to be exposed to serious risk during recruitment.

With over 368,000 Filipino citizens in Europe, the Philippines is a key source of labor in the region. The process of gaining employment in Europe can be fraught with risks; some Filipino workers may find themselves working under exploitative conditions, or under the weight of debt from fees paid during the recruitment and migration process.

As the Philippines’ top seafood export, tuna plays a significant role in supporting the country’s economy and sustaining the livelihood of families in many of the country’s fishing communities. In General Santos City, the country’s “tuna capital,” tuna fishing relies heavily on handlining, an eco-friendly but labor-intensive means of harvest in which fishers use baited hooks on a single line.

We conducted an exploratory study of the recruitment practices in Cambodia, Myanmar, and Lao PDR for workers destined for Thailand to map the critical intervention points in these sending countries where the risks to jobseekers begin. Our findings represent a snapshot of a dynamic process and depict the current environment in which labor migration in these corridors is happening. These findings and observations are intended to complement existing research efforts to further inform strategies for removing barriers to safe, transparent, and sustainable pathways to employment in Thailand.

Seeking to better understand the risks of forced labor and human trafficking in the Thai seafood industry, Nestlé contracted Verité to conduct a focused investigation of six production sites in Thailand—three shrimp farms (one in Mahachai and two in Surat Thani), two ports of origin (Ranong Fish Port and Mahachai Fish Port), and one docked fishing boat (in Ranong Fish Port).

Malaysia’s electronics sector workforce includes hundreds of thousands of foreign migrant workers who come to Malaysia on the promise of a good salary and steady work – an opportunity to make a better life for themselves and their families. But many are subject to high recruitment fees, personal debt, complicated recruitment processes, lack of transparency about their eventual working conditions, and inadequate legal protections.

Verité‘s research in Indonesia initially aimed to assess the circumstances surrounding forced labor on fishing platforms (jermals) in North Sumatra province. This research was subsequently expanded to examine small-boat anchovy fishing in North Sumatra, and blast fishing in South Sulawesi province.

The Philippines ranks second in the world for tuna caught and fifth in canned tuna production. This research was carried out in General Santos City, which is known as the ―Tuna Capital of the Philippines. Due in part to overfishing, yields and profits have been decreasing over the past several years.