The Protection of Vulnerable People at Sea

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Dyniaethau a'r Gwyddorau Cymdeithasol - Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

From: 17 May 2023, noon
To: 18 May 2023, 5 p.m.
Location: Richard Price Lecture Theatre

A large number of people is present at sea for different purposes. On one estimate, approximately 30 million people are at sea at any given time worldwide. No matter the exact number, what is clear, however, is that many of these people are in a vulnerable position and are not adequately protected by international law.

Indeed, persons are faced with many hazards while being present at sea, including risks of violence. Furthermore, violations of their human and labour rights arise in a variety of contexts, and for which there often is little accountability. Fishermen and seafarers frequently have to work in poor conditions, making injury (or even death) more likely, and face risks of non-payment or abandonment. There are also risks of violence: not only caused by piracy, but by other (maritime) security threats as well. Even where these threats to persons at sea are countered by the use of private security, there have been reports of this leading to human rights abuses.

A first aim of the workshop is to reflect on the existing international legal framework applicable to the protection of vulnerable people at sea, to identify any gaps and deficiencies contained therein. Connected to this, the workshop will explore how such gaps and weaknesses in the two main branches of the law relating to the protection of vulnerable people at sea (i.e., human rights law and the law of the sea) could be remedied.

Contact: Youri Van Logchem

Event created by: e.l.ryland