MARITIME risk, due diligence and environmental assessment organisation, RightShip, and Human Rights at Sea have signed a new long-term partnership agreement to help improve seafarer welfare.

Under the agreement, the two organisations will work to raise awareness of the implementation and accountability of human rights provisions throughout the maritime environment and within the maritime industry.

Human Rights at Sea was established in order to engage stakeholders and regulators in the improvement of human rights policies, law and enforcement globally, particularly where existing provisions are being ignored, are currently absent or are being abused. Through its global research and advocacy work raising awareness of human rights abuses at sea, it aims to deliver positive change through innovative legal and policy development.

With this latest announcement, RightShip becomes the first commercial maritime industry organisation to officially engage with Human Rights at Sea, bringing the organisation’s substantial safety, environmental and seafarer risk management expertise to the forefront of the partnership.

Commenting on this new partnership, Martin Crawford-Brunt, CEO, RightShip said, “There is much to be done to improve seafarer welfare, both during this pandemic and beyond.

“We are excited to work closely with the excellent and passionate team at Human Rights at Sea to make sure these important issues are front and centre in the minds of regulators and the industry.”

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David Hammond, CEO of Human Rights at Sea, said, “We are delighted to be aligning with the emerging work and transparent focus being undertaken by RightShip in the field of human rights relating to maritime supply chains, and in particular industry management and crew awareness, education and standards, not just in the global maritime industry, but throughout the wider maritime environment”.

In 2019, Human Rights at Sea launched the first version of the Geneva Declaration of Human Rights at Sea, which is currently focusing on state-level engagement and eventual ratification within the United Nations system. Once finalised, Human Rights at Sea and RightShip will mobilise a concerted international effort to end human rights abuses on our oceans through reference to, and engagement with, the four fundamental principles of the declaration.

These principles are that human rights apply at sea to exactly the same degree and extent that they do on land; that all persons at sea, without any distinction, enjoy human rights; that there are no maritime-specific rules allowing derogation from human rights standards; and that all human rights established under treaty and customary international law must be respected at sea.

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