Safeguarding Cadets from Physical and Mental Abuse: Lessons for the Future

London. UK. Following an incident onboard a Liberian flagged container vessel entering UK territorial waters in February 2021 in which a male engineering cadet was attacked by a fellow crew member thereby putting him in fear for his safety, Human Rights at Sea today publishes an Insight Briefing Note on the key issue of safeguarding cadets’ safety, health and well-being.

Seafarers’ calls for help again raise issue of pandemic narrative suppression

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....

In Force. New Zealand Amends Legislation to provide assured Seafarer Welfare funding

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.

A Review of the Neptune Declaration: Uniting Action by Managers and Charterers but what next?

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.

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’.

Indonesian Fishers fight for Safe Working Conditions and Repatriation from the Marshall Islands

London. UK. / Indonesia. The prevalent issue of poor and abusive conditions for Indonesian migrant fishers continues to be highlighted internationally by local NGOs. Destructive Fishing Watch (DFW) Indonesia has been sharing evidence gathered to further shine a spotlight on fisher's working circumstances, including during the COVID-19 pandemic, which fail to reflect the safety and well-being intent of the likes of the ILO C188 Working in Fishing Convention and highlight failures to look after migrant crew when contracts are terminated.

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.

OP-ED. Crew Voices: Fearful, Frustrated, Fatigued, Forgotten.

OP-ED 9 June 2020 London. UK.  Reporting for Human Rights at Sea and following her first OP-ED on 13 April, ‘A UK Marine Pilot’s Perspective of Seafarer’s Challenges‘, Port of London Authority Pilot, Ms. Ivana Carrioni-Burnett, provides another insight from her recent experiences in UK waters in relation to her interactions with seafarers during the...

Alleged Murdered Kiribati Fisheries Observer Family left without Financial Support

London. UK. At sea, fisheries observers are employed to provide oversight of the fish caught by commercial operators ensuring that the catch is correctly logged, and healthy fish stocks are maintained to ensure the sustainability of the world's oceans. Tragically, some fisheries observers are subject the cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, work in fear of their lives, and in the worst cases, loose their lives through unlawful acts towards them.

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."

New Zealand Seafarer Welfare Providers classed as Essential Workers during COVID-19

London. UK. Maritime New Zealand has designated seafarer welfare representatives as 'essential workers' and provided clear advice for port welfare service providers in terms of their role, available support and the access that they can gain to seafarers. Provided to the Seafarer Welfare Board (SWB) of New Zealand the following advice remains extant at the time of writing. Most notably, crews that have been at sea for 14 days are considered to have the same rights as New Zealand citizens.

South China Morning Post publishes new article ‘Prisoners at Sea’ reviewing seafarers’ challenges during COVID-19

London, UK. The South China Morning Post has conducted an investigation into the ongoing conditions for seafarers on onboard vessels currently stuck at sea during the COVID-19 pandemic, including cases and commentary from Human Rights at Sea. Published today and titled '‘Prisoners at sea’: stuck on board cargo ships, crews find their mental well-being under threat', the long read article has been complied by journalist, Kate Whitehead.

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