The following is the text of a news release from Human Rights at Sea:
(LONDON) — Human Rights at Sea (HRAS) is very pleased to be able to announce that it has become a registered charity in England and Wales after only 13 months since its launch on April 3, 2014.
The charity’s aim is to explicitly raise awareness, implementation and accountability of human rights provisions throughout the maritime environment, especially where they are currently absent, ignored or being abused. It has been lawfully established and constituted with strong governance and national regulatory oversight.
Founder and now CEO of HRAS, David Hammond, said: “The development of Human Rights at Sea has been remarkably quick, first as an initiative and now as a charity. This reflects what we see as a clear gap in the international space for such a charitable body and its investigatory and advocacy work. We aim to ask the tough questions on difficult matters while delivering objective solutions where able. This approach has already highlighted the strong moral fiber of those who will work with us.”
“This is clearly a fantastic achievement for the HRAS team who have put in significant effort and many long hours in this first year in order to establish the organization on very limited funding and support. Nevertheless, we have demonstrated significant value for money to date, and we have delivered on our promise to provide an objective international maritime human rights platform. Our investigative case studies, maritime-based projects and programs are all clearly relevant to today’s maritime environment.”
“HRAS will go from strength-to-strength as an independent platform supporting the maritime human element, promoting corporate social responsibility and as an organization we are here to stay.”
A joint trustees statement led by Jens Dieckmann, attorney at law, said: “What distinguishes Human Rights at Sea is the overarching approach. Human rights on the high seas applies to everyone; fishermen, refugees and seafarers, while the modern maritime and fishing industries need to apply the highest human rights standards throughout the entire supply chain. Such a holistic international approach is both unique and beyond compare at this time. The current refugee crisis in the Mediterranean and in Southeast Asia shows that an isolated consideration and approach falls short. HRAS is able to make a decisive contribution to fill this gap. We, the HRAS trustees, will ensure that this ambitious mission will be successfully accomplished.”