With depleting fish stocks in Philippine waters, the income of fishermen and their families continues to shrink. The Bay of Sarangani in the south of the Philippines is particularly affected by this. Here, fishermen in small traditional wooden boats (bangkas) compete with large commercial industrial ships. The commercial overfishing in coastal waters massively reduces the catch for small fishermen. Instead of catching fish, they catch plastic waste – highlighting another problem in the community: the lack of waste management in the marginalized coastal communities.
From the small daily catch, the fishers still need to deduct the rent for the bangka – since very few can afford their own boat. Fishing is barely enough to feed their families. If small fishermen give up and look for work on one of the commercial ships, they are often exploited. Due to their limited income and awareness of the risks, jobseekers in the fishing industry are increasingly the victims of fraud by illegal recruiters and human trafficking.
Protecting fishermen and tackling marine pollution
OND HESED Foundation was established in 1999 by members of the Oblates of Notre Dame (OND), an independent Catholic order, to implement development projects for marginalized populations of all religions.
Together with our partner organization, OND HESED Foundation – we work on combatting trafficking of fishermen in the province of Sarangani by strengthening self-help groups (SHGs) for the social protection of fishing families, especially mothers and wives, and their communities. OND HESED also complements existing government social services to provide victims of human trafficking with the necessary support. In this way, we not only reduce the risks of fishermen getting caught in human trafficking, but also the risks of new and repeated victimizations of jobseekers. To add, OND Hesed is also committed to improving working conditions in the fishing industry.
The foundation, like AWO International, focuses on strengthening social structures. To date, OND HESED has founded, supported, and strengthened 19 Peoples Organizations and 243 self-help groups with a membership of around 3,000.
|Project||Reducing the Risks of Trafficking in Persons (and Forced Labour) in Fishing Communities through the Strengthening of Social Structures|
|Place/Region||General Santos City and municipalities of Kiamba and Maasim in the province of Sarangani, Philippines|
|Partner||OND HESED Foundation|
|Target group||Fisherfolk associations and marginalized fishers; wives and families of fishers; victims of trafficking|
|Budget||73.333 Euro p.a.|