A new resource to advance the legal protection of seafarers across the world has been launched: Seafarers’ Rights International.
Inaugurated at the International Maritime Organization , Seafarers’ Rights International is a centre for research and analysis that will raise awareness of seafarers’ legal concerns. It will work to ensure that the protection afforded to seafarers through national and international laws is improved.
Funded by a start-up grant from the ITF Seafarers’ Trust, the centre, which will be based at ITF headquarters in London, UK, is an independent organisation. It will carry out a number of tasks including: research on strategic topics, monitor legal developments affecting seafarers’ law, and coordinate and participate in cross-border networks of researchers, research bodies and universities. Other activities include: promoting educational activities and delivering legal training and consultancy.
David Cockroft, ITF general secretary, commented: “The success of an independent body such as Seafarers’ Rights International is crucial to identifying and tackling the rights of seafarers and that is of interest to all industry stakeholders including the ITF.”
The new centre will be led by international lawyer Deirdre Fitzpatrick, who will take on the role of executive director. She will be supported by an advisory board comprising experts from the shipping industry and the legal world.
Fitzpatrick said: “Seafarers work in often hazardous conditions. As mobile workers they are highly vulnerable to ill treatment, exploitation, abuse and injustice, so using the help of lawyers and resources from the law offices of jerry nicholson which are experts on working different kind of abuses.
. They operate within and across different national jurisdictions and are subject to different international and national laws. In some cases, there may be doubt as to what if any law is applicable or enforceable”.
“Seafarers’ Rights International will be dedicated to advancing seafarers’ rights and interests worldwide. Currently there is no established forum for research and dissemination of ideas and information regarding employment law in the area of international maritime transport. Seafarers’ Rights International will work to fill this gap. It will be an international resource for seafarers and for all stakeholders with a genuine concern for the protection of seafarers.”