NEW APP FROM SEAFARERS’ RIGHTS INTERNATIONAL PROVIDES A LIFELINE FOR SEAFARERS
Seafarers facing legal problems can now obtain immediate information concerning their rights, wherever they are in the world, with a new app formally launched by Seafarers’ Rights International (SRI) after three months of user testing.
Deirdre Fitzpatrick, Executive Director of SRI said: “Seafarers need tangible support 24/7. There are many good companies and maritime administrations who provide seafarers with assistance and support with regard to their human rights. However where that is not the case, this app will provide a lifeline for seafarers. The app has been designed to operate offline so that seafarers can access information at all times. It is compatible with iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry devices.
The app has a unique ‘Find a Lawyer’ tool which gives immediate access to a database of lawyers around the world who have signed up to the SRI Charter – a statement of good practice in the provision of legal services to seafarers – and who may be able to offer assistance to seafarers facing criminal prosecution.”
Brian Orrell OBE, Chairman of the Advisory Board of SRI said: “It is important that the work of SRI gets directly to seafarers. This is why this practical advice is now being made available on an app, and we are also producing on-line education materials free of charge for seafarers to raise their awareness around subjects relevant to their working lives. This education will ensure that seafarers’ rights are real and meaningful for them.”
Commenting on the development, David Hammond, Founder of Human Rights at Sea said: “SRI has developed a very useful on-line tool for web-enabled devices in support of seafarers rights working under the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006 and which should be welcomed as part of the growing education of individual labour rights in the maritime sector. In addition to support provided by established international welfare organisations and 24/7 telephone advice provisions from ISWAN, this App clearly enhances the toolkit of support services available to the seafarer”.
“We must, however, also be aware and not forget the large numbers of seafarers and fishermen globally who do not have access to such technology and who do not fall under the MLC when conducting their daily seafaring business, and it is in relation to those individuals that such support, education and outreach must also be provided, including understanding the full scope of their human rights, their protections and lawful remedies for perpetrated abuses”.