New Zealand Government to change maritime law to fund seafarer’s centres

London. UK. Human Rights at Sea is pleased to report that the Labour-led New Zealand Government has publicly announced it will fulfil its manifesto pledge and commitment to improve seafarer welfare through funding from the maritime levies triggered by lobbying from the Seafarers Welfare Board and the March 2020 report from HRAS ‘Under funding of Seafarer’ Welfare Services and Poor MLC Compliance’.

Fisheries Observer Model Conservation & Management Measure Published

London. UK. Human Rights at Sea publishes the fourth in a series of independent international reports and reviews concerning the safety, security and well-being of Fisheries Observers in the Western and Central Pacific region titled: 'Draft Proposal for Model Western & Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) Conservation & Management Measure (CMM) on Human Rights and Labour Rights Protections for Fisheries Observers' Safety, Security and Well-being'.

New Publication: Deprivation of Liberty on board Private Ships

London. UK. Triggered by today's case of the detention by UK Special Forces from the Special Boat Service (SBS) of seven stowaways onboard the crude oil tanker the Nave Adromeda in UK territorial waters which had sailed from Lagos, Nigeria on 5 October; tonight, Human Rights at Sea brings forward its publication for updated independent international guidance: 'Deprivation of Liberty on board Private Ships'.

New Zealand Government drives legislative change in support of Seafarers’ Centres

London. UK. In partnership with the Chair of the New Zealand Seafarers Welfare Board, the Reverend John McLister of the Mission to Seafarers (NZ), Human Rights at Sea is pleased to announce the public policy statement by the New Zealand Government that it intends to amend the Maritime Transport Act 1994 to enable the existing maritime levy to fund the services required for seafarers’ wellbeing.

Understanding the Role of a Fisheries Observer

‘‘If an observer discovers things they weren’t intended to know about, they can face intimidation, threats, violence and, in the worst cases, murder.’’ London. UK. Human Rights at Sea today issues the latest in its series of Insight Briefing Notes covering key human rights issues within the maritime environment. Titled 'The Role of a Fisheries Observer' the insight is provided by Martin Purves, who prior to his present role as the Managing Director of the International Pole and Line Foundation, spent years at sea in fisheries management roles, including as a fisheries observer.

Fijian Fishers Exploitative and Dangerous Working Conditions Exposed

"‘Once I was transshipped [the action of transferring fish or crew between vessels]. I was put into a steel crate (the one they keep fish in) along with my belongings and my papers in a plastic bag. They put floats or buoys around the crate so that it would float; they gave me a torch. It was 5 o’clock in the afternoon when they dropped me over the side with my gear but it wasn’t until nearly 10 o’clock before the second vessel came and picked me up: I was all alone, wet and floating in a steel crate, in the black ocean."

Thome Group speaks to Human Rights at Sea about PPE for Seafarers

London, UK. Following the recent highlighting to Human Rights at Sea (HRAS) of concerns from seafarers about lack of access to, and availability of, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) while serving on vessels transiting global shipping lanes, the charitable NGO has engaged with the maritime industry most recently speaking with the Thome Group about their actions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This follows recent HRAS articles challenging the PPE issue.

New Report. New Zealand Seafarer Welfare Centres Lack Government and Industry Support

“It is not something we can sustain into the future. We desperately need the shipping companies, port authorities and all those who profit from the maritime sector to make some financial contribution to the care of crews coming ashore inNew Zealand.” The Reverend John McLister, Lyttelton, New Zealand. London, UK. / Lyttelton, New Zealand.  Today, Human Rights at Sea publishes an independent report and case study into the precarious state of the sustainability of welfare support for seafarers visiting New Zealand ports titled: “New Zealand: Under-Funding of Seafarers’ Welfare Services and Poor MLC Compliance”.

Greater Access to PPE called for by concerned Seafarers

"Please raise the issue of seafarers exposure risk to COVID 19 before some unfortunate seafarers die onboard". London, UK. London, UK. Some seafarers who have been in direct contact with Human Rights at Sea are increasingly calling for greater levels of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to be made more widely available, not just for themselves, but for those maritime workers who come onboard their vessels including surveyors, agents, pilots and stevedores, by way of example. This includes face masks and gloves. 

VIDEO. Indian Fishermen stranded in Iran without pay and food running low

'After the pilgrims and students then we will come to the fishermen'. London. UK. Human Rights at Sea has been requested to raise the plight of up to an assessed 1000 Indian fishermen stranded in and around Kish Island, Iran, without work and pay since 24 February, and who are now running very short on staple foods which it is reported will only last for several more days.

Insight. Concerns of a Seafarer during COVID-19.

"We guys are fully exhausted and already [have] completed our contract..." London. UK. In the past two weeks, Human Rights at Sea has been contacted by seafarers from around the world highlighting their concerns and plight in relation to COVID-19. Many of their principle concerns have revolved around not being heard, not being well-represented and not having an individual voice.

COVID-19: Master takes Resolute Stand to Assure Crew’s Safety and Welfare

"The case highlights a number of wider issues which may well shape future conduct of business in light of the emerging and the indisputable threat to life of the COVID-19 virus." London. UK. During the COVID-19 pandemic, while ship owners and charterers continue with daily business undertaking charter-parties for the movement of goods around the globe, the effects of the coronavirus crisis are increasingly highlighting new management challenges and competing interests between commercial imperatives to deliver contracts, and the health, safety and welfare of crew.

RMI Flagged Crew allegedly threatened by Owners for voicing concerns of COVID-19 exposure

London. UK. "We, the full complement of the Tomini Destiny are under enormous pressure, fatigue and mental stress due to owners and charterers insisting to perform shipboard operations under duress." Human Rights at Sea has been passed a formal letter from the Master of the Marshall Islands flagged vessel, the MV TOMINI DESTINY, (IMO No. 9718155) signed by all 22 crew, raising serious concerns about the conduct of Owners and Charterers deemed to be harassment and intimidation relating to their asserted unsafe offloading operations at Chittagong, Bangladesh, and a lack of COVID-19 screening of stevedores, and adequate protection for the crew.

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