Missing Seafarers Reporting Program goes live

The following is the text of a news release from Human Rights at Sea:

(LONDON) — A new and vital public international resource where details can be submitted and recorded concerning missing seafarers and fishermen globally has now gone live. The first phase of the Missing Seafarers Register as part of the Missing Seafarers Reporting Program has been launched by Human Rights at Sea (HRAS), an independent maritime human rights organization based in London and established in April 2014.

Accessible through multiple websites including www.missingseafarers.org, www.missingmariners.org, www.missingseamen.org, as well as the HRAS home page www.humanrightsatsea.org, the platform aims to build an accurate international database of the status of seafarers and fishermen missing at sea on a global basis. It will eventually become a multilingual database where cases of missing mariners and fishermen can be registered and tracked, with the ability for people with key information to post and update details through a moderated and securely encrypted platform.

The program is designed to keep the issue of seafarers and fishermen lost at sea alive and to raise international awareness by profiling individual cases to maritime authorities, flag states, governments, ship owners/managers, civil society organizations, NGOs and the general public, among others. It also aims to independently support legal investigations into specific cases of abuse, injury or even death at sea, where applicable.

David Hammond, barrister and founder of Human Rights at Sea who conceived the program, said, “The delivery of the first publicly available phases of the Missing Seafarers Reporting Program has been an immense effort from all those involved. The initial funding provided by Seafarers UK put HRAS in the position of being able to rapidly develop this vanguard concept alongside the team from C Data Services, and to expedite its introduction to both the maritime and international communities in only four months from concept to delivery. This platform will become an HRAS flagship program and its global importance has not been lost on any of the entities involved in its conceptual and practical development. I am very grateful to all who have engaged with HRAS on this project from the development team, to all our funders, our supporting entities and international partners. This program is a perfect example of the HRAS drive for providing practical solutions to human rights issues in the maritime environment."

Mike Robinson, operations director of C Data Services who built the platform, commented, “There are currently no statistics available on the number of people missing from the 1.5 million registered seafarers worldwide. This makes the Missing Seafarers Register a valuable resource for investigation and analysis, as well as emphasizing the global scale of this issue to a wider audience. With two of our directors having served at sea, the plight of missing seafarers and their families is a subject close to our hearts, therefore we are honored to be involved in this important campaign.”

In order to bring this project to fruition, HRAS has received generous funding from Seafarers UK, Mishcon de Reya LLP, the Sailors’ Society and The Fishermen’s Mission and legal support from Holman Fenwick Willan LLP and Mishcon de Reya LLP.

The Human Rights at Sea (HRAS) initiative has been independently developed for the benefit of the international community, including the maritime industry, for matters and issues concerning human rights in the maritime environment. Its aim is to explicitly raise awareness, implementation and accountability for human rights protections throughout the maritime environment, especially where they are currently absent and being abused.

By Professional Mariner Staff