International Observer Bill of Rights and Codes of Conduct for Responsible Observer Programmes

A project of the Observer Health, Safety, and Welfare Focus Area

Project Overview

The Observer Bill of Rights (OBR) was first drafted in 2000 during the 2nd Conference in the International Fisheries Observer and Monitoring Conference (IFOMC) series held in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada. This was the first step towards building a plan to improve and strengthen the retention of experienced professional fisheries observers, establishing minimum desirable requirements to deploy observers and other issues. However, implementing the issues outlined in the OBR remained vague. Observer programs are rapidly developing as many nations face depleted fisheries and other ocean resources, requiring increased monitoring.

In this context, we contend that observer rights, health, safety and welfare must not be overlooked as monitoring efforts expand. The current version, the International Observer Bill of Rights (IOBR) widens the scope to observers worldwide and includes associated Code of Conduct for Responsible Observer Programme documents. The IOBR outlines basic observer rights. CCROP-HS outlines minimum health standards for observers and CCROP-SR outlines responsibilities of various stakeholders for implementing the IOBR. The intent of these documents is to ensure that the increasing corps of observers internationally are provided with certain basic fair and amiable employment standards throughout their careers as observers.

These are living documents and will be updated biennially as programmes evolve. They will be presented in association with the IFOMC series. Feedback from all stakeholders is essential to its successful implementation.

  • International Observer Bill of Rights (IOBR)

  • Codes of Conduct for Responsible Observer Programmes - Stakeholder Responsibilities (CCROP-SR)

  • Code of Conduct for Responsible Observer Programmes - Health and Safety (CCROP-HS)

Project Updates

August 2013: TRANSLATORS NEEDED - Delegates at the 7th IFOMC conference, Luis Cocas, from Chile and Christiano Roma, from Brazil, graceously provided Spanish and Portuguese (Brazilian) translations of the original version presented at the conference in April. The English language version above includes comments that we have incorporated through August 2013. We are currently seeking volunteers to translate Version 1.0, above, into other languages.

Contact Information

Please do not hesitate to contact the IOBR Team at: emitch@efn.org

IOBR Team: Kim Dietrich, Liz Mitchell, Keith Davis, Jonathan Combs, Alfred "Bubba" Cook, Reuben Beazley and Ebol Rojas

Project Resources

International Fisheries Observer and Monitoring Conference Resources

Observer Bill of Rights (OBR), 2000

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Our goal is to provide a comprehensive source of information for observers, and the public, on issues related to fishery observer programs.

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