Commentary: Alleged rape on MSC Divina ship highlights need for clear understanding of flag State responsibilities at sea

Author: Human Rights at Sea, Published on: 19 April 2019

"Rape at Sea, Flag State jurisdiction and the Search for Justice", 15 April 2019

The alleged rape of a 17-year-old female UK national on the Panamanian flagged cruise ship MSC Divina as the ship sailed between Mallorca and the Spanish port of Valencia, brings to the forefront the issue of justice for victims of criminal acts at sea in international waters when under flag State jurisdiction as a matter of ocean governance... her attacker apparently lives in Italy and is Italian, while the judicial intervention was in Valencia, Spain, where the judge held the case could not be heard as it was under Panamanian flag State jurisdiction and occurred in international waters... Addressing abuses of human rights at sea with effective judicial intervention resulting in effective remedy for victims must be at the forefront of any flag State’s priorities, policies and which should be undertaken in a transparent manner... It will now be for the Panamanian authorities to respond... This issue is also being addressed in the new Geneva Declaration on Human Rights at Sea...

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Related companies: MSC Cruises