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. 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.
The 1st Global Conference for Seafarer Mental Health and Wellbeing will bring together global leaders and key stakeholders from the maritime sector who are actively involved and have a keen interest in discussing practical solutions to improving seafarer mental health and wellbeing
London. UK. The ILO has again called on governments to treat seafarers as key workers at the Special Tripartite Committee of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC, 2006) in April, but the issue of seafarer minimum wages embarrassingly remains unresolved.
London, UK. The 13th episode of the Even Keel podcast produced by Abhijith Balakrishnan, a seafarer and Marine Superintendent with Scorpio India, engages Human Rights at Sea through Joanne Rawley and David Hammond in discussing key issues currently affecting seafarers and driving the work of the charity.
ROPEL, a new social media and recruitment platform designed for seafarers has launched version 2.0 of its service after a successful crowdfunding campaign.
London, UK. Human Rights at Sea has partnered with global law firm Reed Smith to help tackle the growing problem known as seafarer abandonment; an issue that has seen cases rise dramatically over the last 12 months.
London, UK. On Saturday, 17 April, representatives from the International IMO and Human Rights at Sea (HRAS) joined BBC Radio Scotland's national morning programme to discuss the ongoing issue and rising cases of abandoned seafarers globally. Mr. Frederick Kenny, Director of the IMO Legal Affairs and External Relations Division, and David Hammond, CEO, HRAS answered searching questions with the aim of bringing increased understanding to the Scottish audience.
London, UK. The New Zealand Minister of Transport, the Honourable Michael Wood, has confirmed to Human Rights at Sea the forthcoming legislative change to the Maritime Transport Act for long-term and sustainable funding of seafarer's centres. This follows the international report issued by the charity in April 2020, "New Zealand: Under-Funding of Seafarers’ Welfare Services and Poor MLC Compliance” drafted in direct support of the New Zealand Seafarers' Welfare Board's efforts to achieve this change.
London. UK. When we hear of large corporations, charterers, refusing to accept any costs or delays in order to allow over-worked seafarers to return to their homes, what are we to think? We could think of all the people that have acted responsibly and made sacrifices in their personal and working lives to reduce the risk of other members of their community contracting COVID.
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’.