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Ghanaian workers report appalling abuse aboard Chinese-owned fishing vessels October 29,2020   |  Source: EJF

Ghanaian workers have reported shocking human rights abuses aboard Chinese-owned trawl vessels, from beatings to a lack of drinkable water or basic medicines and punishing working hours. This abuse of the crew goes hand-in-hand with threats, the bribery of fisheries observers and large-scale illegal fishing. The testimonies, documented in a new report from EJF, are a deeply troubling indication of the treatment of local crew on board Chinese-operated trawlers, which are ubiquitous along the West African coast.

Although it is against Ghanaian law, the vast majority of trawlers operating in Ghana – an estimated 90% – are owned by Chinese corporations that use Ghanaian ‘front companies’ to gain registration. Chinese nationals occupy the more senior positions on board the vessels, with Ghanaian crew in lower roles.

All 10 Ghanaian crew interviewed by EJF had personally experienced or witnessed physical abuse at the hands of Chinese captains and officers. One man said: "Violence occurs all the time. […] those who are not fast, the captain will take anything he will get and hit you with it. Whether a stone or anything they will get. Especially the captain."

On another vessel, a Chinese national allegedly used a basket to hit a Ghanaian crew member in the head. When

Theme(s): Communities and Organisations.

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