Platform welcomes as partner organisation the new initiative “Human Rights at Sea”, calling for the maritime industry to face its human rights responsibility
Brussels, 10 November 2014 – The NGO Shipbreaking Platform, a global coalition of environmental, human rights and labour rights organisations promoting clean and safe ship recycling globally, welcomes the international initiative Human Rights at Sea (HRAS) as a new partner organisation. First founded in April 2014 by London-based barrister David Hammond, HRAS’ mission is to “explicitly raise awareness, implementation and accountability for human rights protections throughout the maritime industry, especially where they are currently absent and being abused.”
“For close to ten years now, the NGO Shipbreaking Platform has been voicing concerns about human rights violations in the shipbreaking yards of South Asia. Shipbreaking is only one issue in the maritime industry that needs to be addressed from a human rights perspective, ” says Patrizia Heidegger, Executive Director of the NGO Shipbreaking Platform. “Human rights at sea do not receive the attention they deserve, neither from governments and international organisations, nor from corporate stakeholders in the industry. We will support HRAS in raising awareness about the protection of human rights in the maritime industry.”
Amongst others, HRAS addresses issues such as saving refugees at sea or the abandonment of seafarers in ports following the detention of vessels by the authorities. The Platform expects that the new initiative will strengthen existing pleas such as the International Transport Workers Federation’s (ITF) campaign calling for the enforcement of laws to prevent the exploitation of seafarers, dockers and other employees in the maritime industry. “An initiative such as HRAS is absolutely essential and we are looking forward to help building up a network of stakeholders promoting human rights at sea”, says Patrizia Heidegger.
The NGO Shipbreaking Platform comprises 19 member organisations from 10 countries (including the secretariat in Brussels) and is constantly expanding its network of partner organisations, with whom it cooperates on issues related to environmental protection, human and labour rights.