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Welcome to the Resource Centre

We make it our mission to work with advocates in civil society, business and government to address inequalities of power, seek remedy for abuse, and ensure protection of people and planet.

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Phil Bloomer, Executive Director

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Maritime Industry

Application of human rights throughout the maritime environment at all times without exception

David Hammond, Founder & Trustee, Human Rights at Sea

From working conditions of ship workers to modern-day-slavery in the fishing industry, to violent attacks by pirates and others, to environmental contamination affecting human health, the industry is in need of norms, and standards to address these issues effectively.

Phil Bloomer, Executive Director, Business and Human Rights Resource Centre

Maritime industries continue to face serious human rights and labour rights abuses, from modern-day-slavery in the fisheries industry to labour rights violations of seafarers and those who work in shipbreaking yards. Businesses, through their operations and supply chains, should uphold human rights equally as they do on land and at sea.

This in-depth area will look into the specific labour rights issues and human rights abuses in the maritime industry with a focus on three sub-categories: seafaring, fishing and shipbreaking. 

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Related stories and components

4 June 2002

TANZANIA: Child labour common in Zanzibar

Author: U.N. Integrated Regional Information Networks

A recent rapid assessment by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), an associate organisation of the United Nations, has found that child labour is "common" in Zanzibar, with prostitution, fisheries and seaweed farming among the "most hazardous"...

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24 May 2002

KENYA: 1.9 Million Children Working, U.N.-Funded Report Says

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13 May 2002

Aid can kill with kindness, say Thai mussel farmers

Author: Erin Prelypchan, Reuters

[criticism of Asian Development Bank for funding project which was intended to clean up polluted canals, but dumps toxins on mussel farms, making the seafood dangerous to eat and nearly impossible to sell]

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12 May 2002

Fishermen's plight under spotlight [South Africa]

Author: Nashira Davids, Sunday Times [South Africa]

Western Cape politicians are demanding a probe into working conditions in the fishing industry after 25 fishermen have died in less than a month.

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27 March 2002

Thirteen dead in Dubai shipyard flood [United Arab Emirates]

Author: BBC News

At least 13 workers are reported to have died in Dubai after a dry dock flooded with sea water...Officials at Dubai Drydocks, one of the world's biggest shipping repair facilities, said the casualty figures might rise as divers began rescue operations...

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25 February 2002

Ship of Shame docks in Melbourne: ITF [International Transport Workers' Federation] invites MPs and media on board to witness first hand shameful crew exploitation

Author: Maritime Union of Australia

They've been cheated $300,000 in wages, fed on fish heads, intimidated and stood-over. But when three complained they were sacked. They are the crew of the ageing Greek owned, Cypriot flag of convenience vessel ANL Progress

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5 February 2002

Chinese 'slave ship' in Angola

Author: Justin Pearce, BBC News

Workers on a ship anchored in the port of Luanda have complained of slave-like working conditions on board the Chinese-owned vessel

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14 January 2002

Western European companies dump toxic ships on Turkish beach

Author: Greenpeace

Greenpeace holds EU partly responsible for poisoning [comments on ship-scrapping in Turkey; calls on EU to demand its ship industry remove hazardous substances from ships prior to export]

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17 October 2001

Aboriginal Sea Rights Confirmed in Australia's High Court

Author: Bob Burton, Environment News Service

A landmark ruling handed down by the High Court of Australia late last week has confirmed the validity of limited Aboriginal rights over 2,000 square kilometres of the seas adjoining traditional lands off the north coast. The decision has been...

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1 March 2001

Thousands of sailors on commercial ships treated like slaves, & fear being thrown overboard if they complain

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