Human Rights at Sea: Spring/Summer 2015 Newsletter



Welcome to the second periodic newsletter from Human Rights at Sea for the Spring Summer period. As expected, much has occurred since the start of the year and below, are just a few of the highlights as a newly formed Foundation Charitable Incorporated Organisation promoting maritime human rights, globally.

Charitable Status:

The most significant event for the organisation has been the awarding of charitable status under the UK Charity Commission as a Foundation Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO), registered charity in England and Wales, No. 1161673. Along with strong administrative (legal, accountancy, banking and fundraising) governance, Trustees and a 21 member Advisory Board, the foundations of the charity have now been established in just 14 months. The plaque has now been mounted at its London address of 9 Bedford Row.

Missing Seafarers Reporting Programme:

It has been a busy period for the Human Rights at Sea team investigating new cases being submitted from around the world, including the first Scottish fisherman’s case. At the time of writing there are over 70 cases recorded across the maritime sector. Each case takes significant effort to review, undertake due diligence and on many occasions the families start to build a relationship with the team. The programme lists both those missing and dead seafarers. As Phase 3 of the database build gets underway, the programme will move from primarily recording data and gathering evidence, to interpretation and where applicable, further investigations. The team is engaged with cases from Russia, Ukraine and West Africa.

Deprivation of Liberty at Sea guidance:

This groundbreaking piece of independent work was published on 4 June 2015 as a collaboration between Human Rights at Sea and MARSAFENET detailing the issue of ‘Deprivation of Liberty at Sea’ of suspected criminals. This document was six months in its development, drafting and review by maritime, legal and academic practioners and is the first such international guidance document backed by significant flag State legal research. It is freely available and specifically for Shipowners, Shipmasters, Crew and Private Maritime Security Companies to use and refer to on a voluntary basis. DOWNLOAD HERE


Human Rights at Sea CEO, David Hammond, has accepted an invitation to join the Ethics Committee of the PROMERC (Protection Measures for Merchant Ships) international project overseen by the World Maritime University. He will provide both human rights review and input to the shipping programme and he will also provide first hand experience for matters of use of force, having conceived the international 100 Series Rules a model set of Rules for the Use of Force.

The HRAS Interview:

Developing wider reach and interest in the Human Rights at Sea organisation, the new media-focused “The HRAS Interview” site went live on 4 July 2015 with the first interview being given by Chirag Bahri of the Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme following his winning of the 2015 International Seafarers Dr Dierk Lindemann Welfare Personality of the Year award. Site HERE


The maritime training and e-learning course provider; Marlins, has engaged with Human Rights at Sea to assist as part of its charitable objectives with input and oversight of the forthcoming Humanitarian Response training programme to be shortly released to the shipping industry covering matters concerning rescue at sea.

SeaWatch Mediterranean Migrant Rescue Project:

As part of our Internship Programme, Human Rights at Sea has one intern embedded as the legal advisor to the fledgling German-based SeaWatch rescue project involving live rescues of migrants off the Libyan coast. Human Rights at Sea has been involved with this project from the outset and which was led by Daniel Shepherd as the first incumbent and now Giorgia Lundari based in Lampedusa, Italy. The updated blog can be read HERE

Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) visit:

CEO, David Hammond, took time to visit the offices of MOAS, MSF and Migrant Report in Malta during early July building on an established relationship with the MOAS founders, Regina and Christopher Catrambone. Human Rights at Sea and MOAS have agreed to work closer together and ensure greater visibility of migrant rescue work in the Mediterranean. Click HERE for the MOAS website.

Supporting Entities:

In recent months, the number of organisations who have joined in their support of the Human Rights at Sea charitable work has increased to 66. This includes FishWise, The Nautical Institute, Marlins, the new platform for wives and partners of merchant mariners SeaWives and CrewToo from the KVH Media Group.

Seaman Guard Ohio case – India:

The ongoing case of the deprivation of liberty in India of the crew of the Seaman Guard Ohio vessel, formerly used as a floating armory by the US company AdvanFort, continues with a recent Indian Supreme Court judgment criticising the previous High Court decision and returning the matter to the lower court for potential retrial. Alongside other mainstream welfare organisations, Human Rights at Sea continues to provide support where requested and source independent legal advice for those involved.


The growing Internship Programme is pleased to welcome two new international interns based in Italy and Australia. The interns have been very busy with a broad range of work supporting the charity’s objectives.

LISW 2015:

CEO, David Hammond, will be taking part in the LISW 2015 Maritime Welfare Debate in the afternoon of Tuesday 8 September at the Willis Building with the express aim of raising the awareness of seafarers’ rights during LISW. This will occur alongside representatives from Shell, ISWAN, Nautilus International, Salvus Law, Apostleship of the Sea among others. Free to attend and book HERE


As part of the administrative governance and medium-long term funding development, Human Rights at Sea now has a JustGiving account.

Text: HRAS44£3 to 70070 to donate (UK Only)

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Thank you.

How to connect with us:

The revised Human Rights at Sea Facebook page is back up and running:

Additionally, the updated Human Rights at sea Dedicated News Site can be found here:


Image source:

Text source: David Hammond, CEO of Human Rights at Sea



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