Geneva Declaration on Human Rights at Sea featured on Swiss RTS Radio

Press Release

12th August 2019

Geneva. Switzerland. Radio Télévision Suisse (RTS), the Geneva based Swiss public broadcasting organisation introduced and featured the Geneva Declaration on Human Rights at Sea during their 8 a.m. news feature this morning. RTS is in charge of the production and broadcasting of radio programming in French for Switzerland providing national and international news broadcasts.

The exposure of the Geneva Declaration on a Swiss national radio station is an important step in further highlighting the emerging work being undertaken in the development of the new soft law instrument, the aim of which is to ensure compliance with international human rights at sea, particularly in areas beyond territorial jurisdiction.

Formal support for the Declaration has been pledged by the City of Geneva on 21 May 2019 by the Mayor’s office.

The concept of the Declaration is to deliver a soft law instrument which captures the concept of ‘human rights at sea’ and the founding principle that ‘human rights apply at sea as they do on land‘ for all persons living, working, transiting, or engaged in any other type of activity at sea, reflecting internationally recognised fundamental human rights stemming from international conventions and instruments.

Listen to Broadcast (French)

Listen to Broadcast (English)

Register with the Geneva Declaration Website


Geneva Declaration on Human Rights at Sea – Soft Law development Version 1: 5 April 2019

There is a profound need for the concept of ‘Human Rights at Sea’ to be accepted globally.  The principal aim of this Declaration is to raise global awareness of the abuse of human rights at sea and to mobilise a concerted international effort to put an end to it.


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.


Scroll to top