"‘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."
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.
“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”.
"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.
'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.
"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.
"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.
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.
"Little did I know that the excitement of going home finally after 6.5 months would turn into a nightmare after I landed." London. UK. Over the last 72 hours, Human Rights at Sea has been deluged with Indian seafarers getting in contact with the charitable NGO outlining the challenges they are facing during the current COVID-19 crisis. This now includes emerging issues relating to unexpected social exclusion when some seafarers return home.
"I was about to join a vessel and now I am completely out of cash... What do we do? What about our families?" London. UK. Human Rights at Sea has been deluged with cases of seafarers seeking to highlight their plight either after being left on vessels, left ashore in foreign countries unable to return to their families due to the unprecedented COVID 19 crisis, and not having sufficient information being passed to them.
Human Rights at Sea Review of ZS Wellness Ltd Think Tank Event Miss Anastasia Papapetrou, Researcher & Intern, Human Rights at Sea An Introduction to ZS Wellness Ltd On the 29th of January 2019, Human Rights at Sea attended the first ZS Wellness Think and Tank event at the Caledonia Club, London. The Mission of...
* Human Rights at Sea, alongside a number of key government and industry stakeholders including The Fishermen’s Mission, have been working in support of the UK response to the implementation of ILO 188 (2007) ‘Work in Fishing Convention’ and the proposed voluntary safety management code to be adopted by the UK fishing industry. The focus for...