PUBLISHED 4 JUNE 2015
This Guidance, published jointly by Human Rights at Sea (‘HRAS’) and the Network of Experts on the Legal Aspects of Maritime Safety and Security (‘MARSAFENET’) and financed through the European Union COST Action IS1105, is the first independently drafted international document covering Deprivation of Liberty (‘DoL’) by Shipmasters, crew and/or Privately Contracted Armed Security Personnel (‘PCASP’). It is the result of in-depth research into the domestic and international legal frameworks governing deprivation of liberty on board private vessels. The Guidance, which complements existing guidelines on fair treatment of seafarers in the event of a maritime accident as adopted by the International Maritime Organization (‘IMO’), aims to become a leading soft law instrument voluntarily applied by relevant actors in the maritime, fishing and security industries. The issue of DoL of criminal suspects by Shipmasters, crew and/or PCASP is highly topical: this is true for piracy prone areas but also for areas with large migration movements like the Mediterranean and the Andaman Sea, where chances are that Shipmasters or crew may be confronted with persons suspected of trafficking in human beings or other criminal offences.