Human Rights at Sea takes aim at the Maritime Labour Convention

London: Human Rights at Sea has today launched a new campaign, stressing that the Maritime Labour Convention is, in its opinion, not far reaching enough.

The aim of the ‘Unlocking the issue’ advocacy campaign is to bring human rights awareness to the forefront of the maritime and fishing industries and their regulators, the NGO said in a release.

The founder of HRAS, David Hammond, maintained: “12 months ago, the now recognisable term of ‘human rights at sea’ did not exist; neither did an international advocacy platform highlighting this fundamental issue specifically in the maritime environment.”

HRAS said that it was a “common myth” that the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 is a human rights convention which provides all the protections required for seafarers’ human rights. “This provides a false sense of security to seafarers covered by the convention and highlights at best a misinterpretation by professional bodies and individuals in positions of influence,” the NGO said in a release.

HRAS called for open and explicit discussion for the inclusion and application of human rights driven forward as a constituent part of the IMO’s Strategic Plan and associated High Level Action Plans, as well as by individual flag states and shipowners in both the maritime and fishing industries.

“There is no reason not to and a new strategic approach to corporate inclusion of maritime human rights in daily business which does not inherently consider the subject to be a toxic ‘Pandora’s box’ needs to be adopted by the international maritime community,” HRAS stressed.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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