• November 16, 2015


The Celtic League DOI has written to the EU Fisheries Directorate urging action to tackle abuse of migrant labour from the third world on trawlers registered in EU countries.

We have cited recent allegations about Ireland and also more general allegations about the exploitative nature of employment agencies that abuse migrant workers.

Full text below:

Director-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries
Rue Joseph II, 99
B-1000 Brussels

14th November 2015

Dear Sir,

I wrote to the Irish government Minister of State for Fisheries (Tom Hayes TD) recently setting out concerns about the alleged use and abuse of migrant labour on Irish trawlers.

The text of my letter to Minister Hayes is set out below:
“Dear Minister,

I noted reports in the Irish Times recently concerning the use of migrants allegedly as cheap labour on Irish fishing vessels the IT story arose from an earlier report in the United Kingdom Guardian newspaper. (Link to IT article below):


Various allegations were also made about the agencies that recruit these men various nationalities were mentioned but we note in particular reference to Filipino crew members.

The Celtic League has been liaising for sometime with the New York Times and their campaigning reporter Ian Urbina. The Times have been running a series of Mr. Urbina’s articles entitled ‘The Outlaw Ocean’ which chronicles the abuse of sea farers and fishermen in particular.

The most recent article relates the alleged conduct of agencies who recruit fishermen in the Philippines (I attach a link below):

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/ 11/09/world/asia/philippines- fishing-ships-illegal-manning- agencies.html
Can I ask what steps you are taking to ascertain the veracity of the Guardian/Irish Times allegations? Additionally in light of the Urbina New York Times story will you carry out checks to see that Filipino fishermen employed on Irish vessels enjoy proper terms and conditions are not being exploited in the manner outlined in the NYT article?

The Celtic League which is a UN accredited NGO (ECOSOC) has already raised concerns with the International Maritime Organisation and the International Labour Organisation and we intend to reiterate those concerns.

I look forward to hearing that the Irish government and your Department will be proactive on this issue.”
In light of the above can I ask what steps the EU Commission are taking to ensure that abuse of migrant workers particularly for the third world is tackled?

I would also be grateful if your Office could copy our correspondence to the Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities as given their employment brief they may have an interest in this matter.

The Celtic League is a UN accredited NGO (ECOSOC) has already raised concerns with the International Maritime Organisation and the International Labour Organisation and we intend to reiterate those concerns however before doing so we would welcome a view from your Department.
Yours sincerely
J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information”

Related link here on the Celtic News main site:

Issued by: The Celtic News



The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issues


About Author


0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
The Celtic League
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x