As explained, the principal aim of the new declaration is
“to raise global awareness of the abuse of human rights at sea and to mobilise
a concerted international effort to put an end to it.”
It recognizes established International Human Rights Law and
International Maritime Law, highlights the applicable legal assumptions, and
reflects the emerging development and customary use of the increased cross-over
of the two bodies of law.
The concept of human rights at sea rests on four fundamental
1. Human rights apply at sea to exactly the same degree and
extent that they do on land;
2. All persons at sea, without any distinction, enjoy human
rights at sea;
3. There are no maritime specific rules allowing derogation
from human rights standards;
4. All human rights established under treaty and customary
international law must be respected at sea.
The declaration was first announced to students in Malta on
April 4 at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) International Maritime
Law Institute (IMLI) during the second Human Rights and the Law of the Sea
workshop held in coordination with the Stockton Centre for International Law.
On April 5, it was briefed at the World Maritime University,
Malmo, Sweden during the Empowering Women in the Maritime Community conference.
According to HRAS, the publication comes after the initial
drafting session which was held in Switzerland on March 20-21, 2019. The first
drafting round was supported with input and observers from UN agencies, human
rights lawyers, international and civil society organizations.
The second drafting session will be held in Geneva in May.