Fostering Cooperation Among Relevant UN bodies to Advance Small-Scale Fishers' Human Rights

At the global scale, small-scale fisheries contribute to nearly half the world’s seafood and employs around 90 per cent of the world’s fishers, playing a critical role in food security, nutrition, and livelihood. Natural disasters and weather fluctuation caused by climate change are already causing large-scale shock to the sector and negatively affecting the livelihoods and cultures of small-scale fishers, fish workers, and their communities. At the same time, climate adaptation and mitigation measures that are implemented with little to no consultation with small-scale fishers also raise problems in terms of their access to resources, food and nutrition security, livelihoods and social justice.

These ocean-climate-human rights issues have yet received sufficient attention in the policy debates on transforming ocean governance. 2022 is the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA) and represents an opportunity to raise awareness on the human rights of small-scale fishers and fish workers and on the importance of adopting specific national laws, public policies and programs to enable them to operate in a sustainable manner. This panel will bring together small-scale fisher representatives, researchers, and representatives from different UN bodies to exchange ideas and experiences on the needs and opportunities to ensure the full realization of small-scale fishers’ human rights in the face of a changing climate. It will explore common areas of concern, mutual objectives, and areas for improved collaboration among participants for synergistic international supports to improve small-scale fishers’ resilience at the ocean-climate nexus.


Dr Bolanle Erinosho (University of Cape Coast, Ghana), Dr Philile Mbatha (University of Cape Town), Dr Tapiwa Warikandwa (University of Namibia, Namibia) – joint presentation

Ms Kate Cook, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation

Ms Stefania Tripodi, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Dr. Soo-Young Hwang, UN Environment Programme

Small-scale fisher representatives


Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights