The ‘Missing Seafarers Reporting Programme’ (“MSRP” or “the Programme”) is the flagship programme delivered to the international and maritime communities by the Human Rights at Sea (“HRAS”) organisation. It is a privately funded programme delivered through the generosity of international donors having been conceived by the HRAS Founder in September 2013.
The vision is to primarily support seafarers, fishermen and their families by the registration of seafarers and fishermen missing at sea through a secure, independent and international on-line platform. That platform is known as the ‘Missing Seafarers Register’ (“the Register”).
The Register, as it evolves, will become an international multi-lingual on-line platform for registering, tracking, updating, profiling and raising awareness of missing seafarers and fishermen on a global basis. It will be aimed at being used by multiple stakeholders, including, but not limited to, family members, colleagues, employers, NGOs, flag States, insurers, Governments, the EU and the UN for their awareness and where applicable, their engagement, intervention and investigation of alleged abuses. It is a work-in-progress.
The Programme will also support ongoing international awareness of the broader matter of seafarers’ welfare and the issues they face such as the withholding of wages, confiscation of identification documents, abuse of work visas, inhumane working conditions and other human rights abuses. This will be undertaken in concert with existing seafarers organisations and international programmes.
Additionally, where requested and where privately funded, HRAS will seek to assist in the gathering of evidence and conduct investigations into the disappearance and suspected murder of seafarers.
The aim of the ‘Missing Seafarers Reporting Programme’ through the use of the ‘Missing Seafarers Register’ is to build an accurate international database of the status of seafarers and fishermen missing at sea on a global basis.
Since launch, HRAS has been variously approached by international NGOs, welfare organisations, networks of international lawyers and human rights civil society activists highlighting the issue of seafarers and fishermen lost at sea, as well as the lack of a centralized global database.
the time of writing, HRAS has several cases of missing seafarers on its books accompanied by requests for support and investigations by their families and/or representatives. These cases are currently being investigated by HRAS, while the true global scale of the issue remains unknown. The Register will therefore seek to quantify and qualify the issue.
In initial co-ordination with the likes of the Apostleship of the Sea (UK), the Mission to Seafarers, Seafarers UK, The Fishermen’s Mission, the Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme, ISWAN and IMB, HRAS has conducted investigations into the need and viability of such a Register with consistently positive indications that one is required. MSRP now seeks wider international engagement.
Access & Availability
The Missing Seafarers Register will be made available via www.missingseafarers.org, www.missingmariners.org and www.missingseamen.org. It will also be accessible from the www.humanrightsatsea.org once launched.
It is envisaged that the users of the Missing Seafarers Register will be:
- Family members – to register a missing family member.
- Colleagues of missing seafarers – to register and update the status of missing seafarers.
- Employers – awareness, profiling and support to families – development of tracking policies and assurance for seafarers’ welfare.
- Insurers – to review, update and utilize information in support of payments to missing seafarers’ estates where appropriate.
- National constabulary entities – for conducting investigations, as appropriate.
- International investigative organisations – for conducting investigations, as appropriate.
- Flag States – for conducting investigations as appropriate and statistical purposes.
- Port State authorities – for awareness, profiling and monitoring of seafarers within port State control.
- Governments – for general awareness, profile of seafarers’ issues, factual statistics and support to seafarers’ welfare.
- NGOs and Civil Society organisations – for general awareness, profile of seafarers’ issues, factual statistics and support to seafarers’ welfare.
- Human Rights at Sea (HRAS) – as part of the growing suite of professional services and international projects run in support of the HRAS Aim and objectives.
HRAS processes personal information either as a result of third parties submitting personal information to the MSRP, or independent private investigations that are carried out on behalf of third parties.
HRAS has always adopted a transparent and honest approach with regards to the MSRP and the processing of personal information is no different. This is evidenced by the fact that HRAS has voluntarily registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) as a Data Controller and as such, has publically stated that it abides by the standards required of all data controllers under the Data Protection Act 1998.
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