PRESS STATEMENT – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
30 JUNE 2014
The Human Rights at Sea (HRAS) international initiative strongly welcomes the positive statement made by the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, President Gauck, today in his opening speech at the annual Berlin symposium on international refugee protection that ‘human rights apply on the high seas’ and that ‘the high seas are not a lawless area’. Video HERE.
Speaking in Berlin this evening, HRAS founder David Hammond said: “I very much welcome President Gauck’s affirmation of what is the founding principle of the ‘Human Rights at Sea’ initiative that “human rights apply at sea, as equally as they do on land” as applied in the context of ensuring that international attention is increasingly focused on human right’s violations on the high seas“.
Mr. Hammond went on to say that: “one of the reasons the HRAS team is in Berlin, is to further develop our relationship with the German Federal Government, human rights and refugee NGOs and maritime business, in urgently raising the profile of human rights abuses at sea on an international basis”. The statement of President Gauck is an extraordinary encouragement for the HRAS work, especially in Germany.
Mr. Hammond, an English Barrister-at-Law, conceived the HRAS initiative in early 2014 with the assistance of a team of international experts in public international law, including human rights and maritime law. This includes a team headed up by Jens Dieckmann, Attorney at Law, as the German correspondent.
The initiative is now underpinned by over 30 international ‘Supporting Entities’, ‘Collaborative Partners’ and a growing network of international ‘Correspondents’ around the world.
The Human Rights at Sea initiative is the first independent international platform which, over a planned ten year period, will develop online resources, new international collaborative projects, lobby for legislative changes and provide independent investigations into human right’s abuses in the maritime environment. This will include issues of trafficking, refugees, slavery, abuses within the fisheries industry and pioneering development of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, otherwise known as the “Ruggie Principles”.
Spiegel News HERE