InterManager speaks out at IMO against mariner criminalization

The following is the text of a press release issued by InterManager:
(LONDON) — InterManager, the international trade association for in-house and third
party ship managers, has spoken of its concern at the ‘discriminatory
attitude’ displayed towards seafarers during cases of criminalisation.

Addressing delegates at today’s Marine Environment Protection Committee
meeting at the IMO in London, InterManager Secretary General Elect Kuba
Szymanski demanded to know: “Why should a seafarer be treated differently
and penalised for acts that have nothing to do with criminal negligence?”

InterManager, which was represented by a delegation of six representatives,
told the meeting: “InterManager believes these practices have an extremely
damaging and dangerous effect on the shipping industry.” They pointed out
that the criminalisation of seafarers directly contrasts with the STW
Sub-Committee’s call to ship owners, managers and flag states to do more to
encourage young people to consider a career at sea and to work harder to
retain existing seafarers.

“To suppose that professional seafarers can be detained without trial is a
disproportionate response not justified in maritime law and totally at odds
with such responses in all other professions, where an unintentional
incident is treated as such and does not lead to criminal sanctions.
Seafarers continue to be penalised for acts that have nothing to do with
criminal negligence.”

“InterManager would like to appeal to the honourable delegates to raise this
issue at home and make the difference now – seafarers are not guilty unless
proven so,” he concluded.

By Professional Mariner Staff