There is much to be done to improve seafarer welfare, both during this pandemic and beyond. That’s why we’ve recently partnered with independent civil society charity Human Rights at Sea, bolstering our commitment to seafarer’s labour and wider human rights.
According to the New York Times, approximately 150,000 seafarers who’ve completed contracts are unable to leave ships due to isolation requirements and many can’t get home as more borders close. UK-based (non-practising) barrister David Hammond, CEO of Human Rights at Sea, pointed out this situation was not something the industry had seen before.
What is Human Rights at Sea?
The charitable independent organisation was founded by Hammond in 2014 with his life savings, who has first-hand bridge watch-keeping, command and legal experience. He is a retired Royal Marines’ Officer with a passion for engaging stakeholders to improve human rights policies and raise awareness of the many abuses that still occur at sea. Fundamentally important, is the charity’s founding principle that ‘human rights apply at sea, as they do on land’.
In 2019, Human Rights at Sea released the Geneva Declaration of Human Rights at Sea. While it’s currently focused on state-level change, Hammond and his team are working to achieve ratification within the United Nations system. RightShip will work with Human Rights at Sea to meet this ambitious goal, with the aim of establishing a treaty that falls in line with the international laws that apply on land.
What will the partnership achieve?
RightShip is the first commercial maritime organisation to formally collaborate with Human Rights at Sea and will bring its comprehensive safety and seafarer welfare expertise to the partnership, to play a significant part in the charity’s advocacy work.
RightShip CEO Martin Crawford-Brunt believes this is an essential relationship that is aligned with our company’s commitment to all people working in the maritime supply chain. “Our mission is to support the safety, security and welfare of seafarers and vessels, so this commercial partnership is an obvious next step in our journey to helping improve standards across the market,” he explains.
More than just providing fiscal support, RightShip will work with the Human Rights at Sea team to ensure the issues the industry presently faces are addressed by regulators and stakeholders.
According to Hammond, this new alliance will play a fundamental role in achieving improved safety and welfare for all at sea.
“We’re delighted to align with the transparent focus being undertaken by RightShip in the field of human rights – in particular, crew awareness, education and standards not just in the global maritime industry, but throughout the wider maritime environment,” he concludes.
Learn more about RightShip’s commitment to seafarer welfare