Article | 23 Juin, 2022

Developing new partnerships for protecting small-scale fishers' human rights

CEESP News: Elisa Morgera, Director, One Ocean Hub, and Professor of Global Environmental Law at University of Strathclyde Law School, Glasgow (UK) and CEESP member

The One Ocean Hub, a global research coalition, is co-developing partnerships at different scales, between fishers' representatives and advocates, researchers, civil society, and UN bodies, to identify better ways to protect small-scale fishers' human rights.

 

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One Ocean Hub together with its partners are working together to strengthen the recognition and protection of human rights of small-scale fishers in South Africa.

Photo: Jackie Sunde

The One Ocean Hub is an international programme of research for sustainable development, pioneering research on human rights and the marine environment with a view to better connecting marine and social sciences, and the arts, to promote fair and inclusive decision-making for a healthy ocean whereby people and the planet can flourish. The One Ocean Hub aims to transform our response to the urgent challenges facing our ocean and influence decisions and practices that shape the future of the ocean by promoting sustainability and justice. Our research seeks to bridge current disconnections in law, science and society and integrate governance frameworks to balance multiple ocean uses with conservation. We bring together coastal people, researchers, decision makers, civil society, and international organisations to value, and learn from, different forms of knowledge and voices. Our 126 researchers specifically address challenges and opportunities in South Africa, Namibia and Ghana, as well as cross-regional learning with the University of West Indies and the University of the South Pacific. The One Ocean Hub is led by the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow, UK), and has 18 partner organisations and 21 research partners across the world. The Hub is funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) through the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF).

The One Ocean Hub, with the support of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), are joining efforts to strengthen the recognition and protection of human rights of small-scale fishers and their communities during the IYAFA. This collaboration is meant to:

The One Ocean Hub and FAO have made progress on these issues in the past two years by:

On 6th June 2022, High-Level Event for World Oceans Week (WOW) 2022 titled “Exploring Challenges, Opportunities and Alliances for the Protection of Small-scale Fishers’ Human Rights” was organized by the One Ocean Hub, in close collaboration with FAO and OHCHR, with the first-ever message to WOW from the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the participation of the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment. The event served to explore the challenges, opportunities and alliances among all interested stakeholders, including small-scale fishers, and across all levels of governance, with a view to enhance the recognition, protection and promotion of small-scale fishers’ human rights. The roundtable explored the need for a comprehensive understanding of the human rights of small-scale fishers and how different mandates across the United Nations System. To watch the recording of the event, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaBnVZQS6_o

The key messages from the event will be delivered at the UN Ocean Conference, where the One Ocean Hub has been invited to act as Lead Discussant at the Interactive Dialogue 4: “Making Fisheries Sustainable and Providing Access for Small Scale Artisanal Fishers to Marine Resources and Markets” on Wednesday 29 June, 1PM-6PM - Altice Arena, Tejo Hall, Lisbon, Portugal.

In addition, the Hub, FAO and UNOHCHR will organize a workshop on the protection of the right to food of small-scale fishers, fish workers and their communities through synergies between the Small-Scale Fisheries Guidelines, the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas, bringing together national human rights institutions and possibly also UN Special Rapporteurs (Environment, Climate, Food, Culture) in the second half of 2022.

The Hub looks forward to engaging with the IUCN Specialist Group on People and the Ocean and other partners in bring clarity on the content of the human rights-based approach to small-scale fisheries and build the capacities of fisheries-related communities of practice to protect human rights in their work. 
 

Upcoming events

The Hub and other partners will further explore the key messages from the World Oceans Week event in a series of webinars next week, as part of the UNEP Winter/Summer School on Human Rights and the Environment .

THE HUMAN RIGHTS DIMENSIONS OF OCEAN CRIMES AND THEIR IMPACT ON SMALL-SCALE FISHERS

20 June, 5pm CEST


CRITICAL HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES AT THE OCEAN-CLIMATE NEXUS

21 JUNE, 10AM-11:30 CEST

 

PROTECTING HUMAN RIGHTS OF SMALL-SCALE ARTISANAL FISHING ACTORS AND ACHIEVING MULTIPLE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

23 JUNE, 10 AM-11:30 AM CEST

 

DEFENDING THE OCEAN AT THE KELP ROOTS: STORIES FROM SMALL SCALE FISHER OCEAN DEFENDERS IN SOUTH AFRICA

28THJUNE, 8AM CEST