Professor John Knox, UN special rapporteur on human rights and environment, receives urgent submission about violations in fishing industry

Photo of Professor John Knox

Professor of International Law John Knox

Professor John Knox, a United Nations special rapporteur on human rights and the environment, was referenced in the article, “Call to Address Human Rights and Illegal Fishing Links,” published on The Maritime Executive on Oct. 16, 2016.

Human Rights at Sea, a United Kingdom-based charity, and eight other high-profile NGOs made an “urgent” submission to Professor Knox titled, “Tragedy in the Marine Commons: The Intertwined Exploitation of Ocean Ecosystems and Fisheries Workers.”

“As long-time observers of the seafood industry, it is clear that the last few decades of rapid biodiversity loss at sea are largely attributed to the fishing sector and have direct links to human rights violations, both of which feed back to each other in a vicious cycle of ocean destruction,” the submission reads.

The submission addresses various human rights violations in the industry, from slavery and forced labor to unsustainable practices.

A number of organizations and experts contributed to the submission, including the Environmental Justice Foundation, Fairfood International, Greenpeace, International Labor Rights Forum, International Union of Food and Allied Workers and more.

The submission was created in response to a questionnaire on biodiversity and human rights to Professor Knox.  According to the article, the groups hope that the United Nations and related agencies will closely examine the submission through their laws, policies and programs.