Rights watchdog calls for action on fishing boats
South Korea's official human rights body has called for urgent action over human rights abuses aboard Korean fishing boats operating in New Zealand's exclusive economic zone.
The National Human Rights Commission of Korea (NHRCK) investigate human rights abuses aboard Oyang 75 which last year had its crew walk off in Lyttelton, alleging sexual, physical and verbal abuse by the Korean officers.
While NHRCK say they could not prove or disprove specific allegations, because the abused Indonesian crews had gone home and could not be interviewed, their report makes it clear abuses are taking place.
"Relevant institutions and business owners should strengthen remedial measures for the promotion and protection of human rights of employees from foreign country since human rights violations against them on the high seas or foreign soil are difficult to rectify and could trigger an inter-state conflict," NHRCK says in a decision obtained by Fairfax Media.
NHRCK say the Korean Government, the Korea Overseas Fisheries Association and Sajo Oyang Corporation "should make their best effort to implement preventative and remedial measures for the promotion and protection of human rights of foreign sailors."
NHRCK say they during their investigation into the allegations in New Zealand they "identified an urgent need to introduce countermeasures to protect human rights of foreign sailors hired by Korean deep-sea fishing companies."
There were insufficient measures on the Korean boats to protect crews: "non-Korean staffs are easily exposed to physical or verbal violence, sexual harassment, low wage and delayed payment due to geographic and spatial features, a language barrier and limited telecommunication devices, complicated recruiting process, and wage payment procedure".
The 32 Indonesians who quit Oyang 75 did so when the Korean chief engineer hit one of the Indonesians in the face.
Oyang 75 is being prosecuted by the Ministry of Primary Industries over allegations it illegally dumped fish at sea.
- © Fairfax NZ News
A different life for Tess
Will Yahoo ruin Tumblr?
Breaking Bad is back!
The vanilla Budget
A day of building in time-lapse video
The cookbooks that made me
Monarch magical mystery tour
Microsoft reveals Xbox One
Born Sandy Devotional
Books you should read ... in your 20s
The groom's perspective of weddings