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. / Constanza, Romania. The stranded Panamanian flagged MV ALI BEY (IMO 9070515) crew who have been abandoned and detained alongside Constanza port in Romania since 30 November 2020 without wage payment and suffering challenging conditions onboard have provided Human Rights at Sea with updated video testimony as to their position which amounts to a bleak outlook.
London. UK. Human Rights at Sea (HRAS) has worked with Wesfarmers, one of Australia's largest-listed companies, to improve contractual safeguards within head agreements with shipping carriers. This work was recently reported in the release of the Wesfarmers Modern Slavery Statement for 2021.
London. UK. The geo-political case of the hijacking in July 2020 of the GULF SKY from UAE waters to Iran with 28 Indian crew has been further investigated by the BBC in a long-read article now available on-line.
London. UK. The UK-based charitable NGO Human Rights at Sea (HRAS) has called upon the IMO to increase its level of transparency and factual detail in the public reporting of cases reflecting human and labour rights abuse of seafarers.
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. There is a clear need for a more coordinated approach to supporting seafarers where resources are pooled into a single body that can leverage legal expertise and lobbying power to advocate for the rights of seafarers, according to the newly released Inmarsat-sponsored Thetius drafted report 'A Fair Future for Seafarers?'.
London. UK. On 1 July 2021, the UAE Government's Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure issued Cabinet Resolution No. (71) of 2021 on 'Marine Wrecks And Violating Ships' as part of its new pathway "to regulate the navigational activities, protection of the marine environment, safety and security of the UAE maritime sector and to protect the rights of seafarers on board ships in UAE waters and ports" detailed by its accompanying Circular. The Resolution was signed-off by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Prime Minister.
London. UK. / Tokyo, Japan. Professor Mariko Kawano’s interest in international law has always included the rights of individuals, but the plight of seafarers during the COVID-19 pandemic has led her to increase her engagement and build more opportunities for her students to be involved in understanding human rights at sea.
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.