Wallem CEO takes firm line over abuse of seafarer human rights

Press Release

14th July 2019

“Investing in a company or building or trucks and planes is easy. You run out of money, the staff go home. In ships you simply walk away and leave the crew stranded.”

Photo Credit: Wallem

London. UK. The continued arrest and detainment without supplies of the 13 seafarers onboard the Panamanian flagged vessel Sea Horizon by Ghanaian naval authorities due to a contractual dispute between Nigerian companies has seen a robust response from Wallem Ship Management CEO, Mr. Frank Coles.

As first reported in The Maritime Executive on 13th July, Mr. Coles stated that: ““This is a despicable situation that shows the gross disregard for human rights and humanitarian action on the part of most of the involved parties. The owners are an investment fund hiding behind a corporate veil, aided by their lawyers.”

Human Rights at Sea has been closely following the situation upon request of stakeholders, and fully supports the public statement made by Mr. Coles, as the first time in six years that the charity has heard a senior executive from a leading global leading ship management company publicly highlighting and rebuking the way seafarers are being treated more like goods than human beings.

The call by Mr.Coles for an international crew fund is something which echos what Human Rights at Sea has been calling for as a part-solution to the issue of abandonment in order to expedite getting crews home to their families, back into employment within the industry, and helping to reduce the knock-on effect of financial problems for affected families.

Read the full article HERE.


Important Note to Readers

Human Rights at Sea continues to publish educational materials, publications, investigative case studies of individual and family testimony highlighting unacceptable conditions onboard vessels of all tonnages, as well as throughout the associated maritime supply chain, in order to establish greater public awareness of the issues raised without compromising our editorial freedom.

The charity does not subscribe to any imposed protocols and agreements with other entities effectively limiting the ability to report freely and objectively disclose facts, including the reality of unacceptable labour, and wider human rights abuses at sea.

The charity will therefore continue to take a legal and moral stand whenever and wherever it can to fairly advocate for the betterment of human rights, working conditions, and the reduction in abuse at sea. This includes pressing issues such as the criminalisation of seafarers and humanitarian rescuers, abuses towards migrants, impunity of flag States in transparently reacting to and addressing reported abuse, the expansion of the positive contributory role of civil society organisations in the maritime sector, and the provision of greater awareness of effective remedies when abuse occurs.

Our Ask in return

We rely on public and private donations to be able to continue this invaluable and independent work free of bias and interference and every donation, however small or large, goes to assure continuation of our transparent and objective front-end work ensuring that ‘human rights apply at sea, as they do on land’. Thank you.


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