London. UK. World Maritime Day is celebrated annually on 30 September with a new theme. This year it is framed as "Seafarers: at the core of shipping's future" which seems ironic that something so obvious (workers enabling businesses to operate) is being so positioned and promoted in 2021.
London. UK. / Brisbane, Australia. A globally dispersed community of seafarers from Kiribati are at the epicentre of an arduous struggle for repatriation following their displacement during the crew change crisis. Human Rights at Sea has today published a case review addressing their future in the global shipping industry following peer review.
LONDON. UK. In the past months, Human Rights at Sea along with in-country partners, has been discreetly pursuing its Maritime Levy Campaign in Australia. This is focused on following-up on recent State-level success in New Zealand updating national legislation for all seafarer welfare centers to be sustainably funded through a dedicated maritime levy contribution.
London. UK. / Brisbane. Australia. Concerns for the future of Kiribati’s maritime workforce have escalated across the small Pacific Island nation, as the community appeals to the government to bring home more than 250 I-Kiribati seafarers stranded overseas.
London. UK. The consequences of port closures during the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted flaws in the implementation of international law designed to protect the human rights of those at sea, according to a study by Dr Sofia Galani, Senior Lecturer in Public International Law at the University of Bristol and Human Rights at Sea Advisory Board member.
London. UK. Today, the ongoing global welfare crisis affecting seafarers and their families is discussed with Human Rights at Sea (HRAS) by representatives of The Vatican and Stella Maris International further exposing concerns over the fragmentation of seafarers' rights across the global maritime industry and contradictions in the maritime industry.
London. UK. The ongoing case of the Panama-flagged, Turkish owned, MV ALI BEY (IMO 9070515) vessel arrested in Constanta Port, Romania and abandoned since 30 November 2020 has seen the Panama Maritime Authority (PMA) acknowledge a misquotation of ITF regional co-ordinator, Mohamed Arrachedi, resulting in corrections and amendments to the ILO database. Had the misquote not been spotted the four Syrian seafarers abandoned onboard for eight months would have been further disadvantaged more than they already are.
London. UK. The Master of the MV Ali Bey (IMO 9070515) has provided a voluntary video testimony to Human Rights at Sea outlining the privations that he and the remaining three Syrian crew members continue to suffer since their vessel was arrested and abandoned by its owner in Constanza Port, Romania, in November 2020 with earned wages owed prior to that date stated as totalling USD $175,000.
London. UK. The UK-based NGO, Safer Waves, has recently been established to provide a route to support for seafarers who have suffered incidents of sexual violence or gender discrimination at sea as a new independent counselling service for victims of egregious human rights abuse. Funded through UK-based maritime funder, The Seafarers' Charity, its email service is now open to provide access to trained counsellors.
Press Release 11 July 2021 “…please hear us and rescue us from this hell.” London. UK. In the last week, Human Rights at Sea has received multiple messages from seafarers requesting urgent assistance as the crew change crisis and effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to bite deep in the 1.6-1.7 million strong seafarer community....
London. UK. In a historic move, the New Zealand government has updated its Maritime Transport Act 1994 to reflect the effective lobbying undertaken by the New Zealand Seafarer's Welfare Board with the supporting independent report into failures to financially support seafarers and their welfare services by Human Rights at Sea issued in April 2020 with attached Counsel's opinion. The legislative amendment comes into force today.
London. UK. Today marks the Day of the Seafarer, an annual IMO-led day that aims to recognise the vital role seafarers make to our everyday lives. During the COVID-19 pandemic, seafarers have undertaken what amount to be heroic efforts to continue providing the world with the goods it needs while they have been often ignored, have been failed to be repatriated in a timely manner and have had their contracts often extended in excess of legal norms. This year's theme is a fair future for seafarers, but with a following question to be asked: "Can this can be achieved?
London, UK. In a collaborative international effort with multiple stakeholders, Human Rights at Sea today issues a new Fisheries Observer Infographic 1.0 as a freely available first edition education and information tool detailing the context, scope and safety awareness of this key fisheries role. The tool forms part of the HRAS international programme for the Global Protection of Fisheries Observers which includes detailed reports and resources free to access on the subject matter.
Yrhen Bernard Sabanal Balinis, HRAS Advisory Board Member, offers a powerful take on how young maritime professionals can flourish and grow in their profession by cultivating their 'assertiveness' skills.
London. UK. Back in January, the ITF voiced the view that the newly introduced Neptune Declaration had reset expectations and made the shipping industry itself accountable for what amounted to forced labour for seafarers trapped by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, accountability for enforcement of international conventions rests first and foremost with the State signatory, and while the Declaration has achieved a significant sign-on, its ability to influence outweighs any ability to enforce its asks.