Human Rights at Sea published its latest briefing note concerning the exploitative recruitment fees in the maritime industry and further calls for an end to such fees for workers in a call to action. Namely, Human Rights at Sea note that such “misleading and exploitative recruitment practices by some labor recruiters and overseas employment agencies are a continued blight on raising social welfare and human rights standards in the global maritime sector”.
As part of recently-announced labour reforms, Qatar is planning an end to the kafala system, marking a momentous step forward in upholding the rights of migrant workers. The reforms will mean removal of exit permits and non-discriminatory minimum wage for migrant workers by January 2020.
Four United Nations human rights officials have strongly criticised the British Government’s scheme governing protection and labour rights for migrant fishermen from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). The letter focuses on modern forms of racism, slavery and on trafficking in persons.
Human rights at sea gains significant attention of the maritime community. Due to its diversified identity, shipping constitutes a friendly field for human rights abuses, with human trafficking, illegal migration, slavery and abuse in fishing sector and even the unsafe working conditions in many Southeast Asian ship recycling facilities being among the key areas of concern.
The Indian government has taken no steps to allow seafarers to disembark at ten key Indian ports due to lack of immigration officers stationed there, noted India’s Maritime Association of Shipowners Shipmanagers and Agents, urging the government to act on the issue.
“For the ITF, this means a potential sea change for transport workers, in aviation, in ports, and in public transport. We will now work within this agreement to build protection for them as workers, with good, sustainable jobs, recognising international standards and best practice,” ITF stated.
ECSA’s Maritime Security Working Group recently had an exchange of views with the European Border and Coast Guard Agency in Warsaw concerning maritime security issues and particularly the challenging issue of migrants at sea. Although the number of migrants rescued from the sea has gone down from 2015, merchant vessels are still often involved in the Search and Rescue operations in central, western and eastern Mediterranean.
It is a daily fact that migrants and refugees are at risk of drowning as they make the perilous journey to Europe. The charity, Save the Children, together with Vroon and RINA Services have classified specifically dedicated rescue ship to rescue those that run into difficulty when crossing the Mediterranean.
A new e-learing course has been launched which, it is hoped, will address a ‘significant’ knowledge gap in the maritime industry about the rescue of refugees and migrants at sea.
On average 1,000 refugees are now arriving on the Greek islands every day creating an unprecedented emergency for Greece and other countries
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