Portugal marks the ILO centenary with the ratification of the Work in Fishing Convention, 2007 (No. 188) and the 1986 Instrument of Amendment to the ILO Constitution

News | 26 November 2019
Portugal has joined international efforts to ensure decent living and working conditions for fishers by ratifying the Work in Fishing Convention, becoming the 3rd country to do so during the ILO centenary year. Portugal is the fifth European Union Member to ratify the Convention. The Work in Fishing Convention is a comprehensive instrument which sets out binding requirements relating to work on board fishing vessels, including occupational safety and health, medical care at sea and ashore, rest periods, written work agreements, and social security protection. It also aims to ensure that fishing vessels provide decent living conditions for fishers on board.

Responding to the call by the International Labour Conference to democratize the functioning and composition of the governing bodies of the ILO, Portugal has also deposited today the instrument of ratification of the 1986 Instrument of Amendment to the ILO Constitution.

When depositing the instruments of ratification at the headquarters of the International Labour Organization in the presence of ILO Director-General Guy Ryder, Portuguese Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Teresa Ribeiro, affirmed that: “Portugal actively supports the democratization of the ILO to make the Organization more attuned to the current world and the Portuguese Government is looking forward to participating actively in the implementation of this goal. We support international labour standards and decent work in all economic sectors, including fishing, a very important human activity. In Portugal there are tens of thousands of jobs directly or indirectly related with fisheries. These workers are entitled to be protected from the global transitions that are also affecting this sector, and to have guaranteed access to social protection rights and to good patterns of occupational security and health.”

When receiving the instruments of ratification, Mr Guy Ryder said: “I am very pleased in the year of the ILO Centenary to receive these instruments of ratification by Portugal, a founding member of the International Labour Organization. With the ratification of the Work in Fishing Convention, Portugal, an important actor in the fishing sector worldwide, is strengthening its commitment with the protection of the living and working conditions of numerous fishers, one of the most dangerous of all professions”. “I also welcome the ratification of the 1986 Instrument of Amendment to the ILO Constitution”, he added.

Fishery products contributed over 1.1 billion Euro to Portuguese exports in 2018. With 16,164 registered fishers in 2018 and 3,944 fishing vessels authorized to operate, the Portuguese fisheries' sector is of significant socio-economic importance for the country, particularly in coastal areas.

The Work in Fishing Convention has now been ratified by 15 Member States. It will come into force for Portugal on 26 November 2020, one year after the ratification.

For more background information on ILO’s work in the fishing sector, please visit the ILO’s Fisheries webpage.

For more information on the 1986 Instrument of Amendment to the ILO Constitution, see Questions and answers about the 1986 Instrument of Amendment to the ILO Constitution