UK-BASED independent charity Human Rights at Sea and the Paris-based arbitration practice of global law firm Shearman & Sterling LLP have created a new website: The website is dedicated to the development of an international arbitration-based system of redress for victims of human rights abuses occurring at sea.

This latest milestone follows the launch of a whitepaper on 24 March (available in English and French) and an introductory webinar held on 24 July.

The Human Rights at Sea Arbitration initiative seeks to establish a standalone, institutional system of international arbitration that is specifically tailored to the sensitivities and complexities of human rights at sea issues.

A central feature of this system is that it will put the enforcement of human rights in the victim’s hands by giving the victim the right to bring claims directly against alleged responsible parties.

The principal aim of this design – and of the initiative more generally – is to provide victims of human rights abuses at sea with access to an effective remedy, while at the same time combating impunity for the perpetrators of such abuses.


In addition to documenting, in a transparent manner, each stage of development of the Human Rights at Sea Arbitration initiative, the website will also serve as an online sounding board for the exchange of ideas, a repository of relevant research and writing, and a medium through which future events and opportunities for collaboration will be announced.

Human Rights at Sea CEO, David Hammond, said, “As was promised in March, our initiative is following a structured plan to achieve our joint aim to deliver an innovative and realistic new route for victims to achieve effective remedy for abuses perpetuated towards them.

“This new website reflects our desire to share our work internationally, be inclusive, and reflects our strong partnership with Shearman & Sterling LLP.”