Human Rights and International Solidarity Special Rapporteur Briefing Note

Human Rights at Sea has published a new briefing note reviewing the report of the UN Independent Expert and special rapporteur on human rights and international solidarity with implications for human rights at sea.

The UN report is the third prepared by the Independent Expert, Obiora Chinedu Okafor, and the second that he has addressed to the Human Rights Council. In the report, submitted pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 35/3, the Independent Expert engages with the issue of the criminalisation or suppression of the rendering of humanitarian assistance to migrants and refugees who enter a State in an irregular manner.

For six years the UK-based charitable NGO, Human Rights at Sea, has been researching, educating, advocating and constructively lobbying for change of institutional and generational attitudes in the maritime sector for better awareness, protections and effective remedies stemming from human rights abuses at sea, reflecting the fundamental rights established the 1948 Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

Today, the discussion and emerging international narrative concerning human rights at sea as a concept and its practical application continues to rapidly develop from academic, commercial, State and civil society perspectives; something which factually was not occurring in 2013 when the platform was conceived.

The report of the UN Independent Expert on human rights and international solidarity reflects much of the work being carried out and often triggered, if not led by Human Rights at Sea, but this maritime focus area for human rights development still remains little known about, or if known about, shunned and ignored in favour of commercial and competitive advantage. The briefing note is part of the continuous awareness raising campaign led by Human Rights at Sea.

Prepared and researched on behalf of Human Rights at Sea by Susie Alegre, Barrister-at-Law, Doughty Street Chambers, London and Director, Island Rights Initiative.