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Fishing harbor full of boats in a bay in Mui Ne, Vietnam

Helping raise awareness of human rights abuse at sea

New Lloyd’s Register Foundation grant announced to promote the Geneva Declaration on Human Rights at Sea throughout the maritime system.

Lloyd's Register Foundation has funded a project with Human Rights at Sea, a UK based non-profit organisation, to help raise public awareness of human rights abuse at sea and ensure the physical and mental wellbeing of all individuals at sea, including the seafaring workforce.

The project, ‘Making human rights in the maritime context a reality’, will socialise and promote the Geneva Declaration on Human Rights at Sea (GDHRAS) with key maritime stakeholders through several roundtables with maritime insurers, plus produce materials to help educate and inform stakeholders on GDHRAS and its implications.

By leveraging the influence and advocacy of an international coalition of NGOs and social purpose organisations, Human Rights at Sea aims to have GDHRAS adopted by the UN Human Rights bodies and agencies to ensure human rights at sea are recognised, provided for, and protected.


Matthew Vickers, Executive Chair of Human Rights at Sea, said: “Securing adoption of the Geneva Declaration on Human Rights at Sea is not just a step forward; it's a leap towards ensuring fundamental rights for the estimated 30 million people who live, work and travel our world's seas and oceans at any one time. This funding from Lloyds Register Foundation marks a pivotal moment in our advocacy efforts, propelling us closer to a world where human rights at sea are respected and protected globally."

With legal and illegal activities across the maritime value chain, including in shipping, fishing, offshore energy and tourism, predicted to increase significantly as the ocean economy grows in size and influence, this project will help the maritime industry put robust frameworks  in place to better protect those who work at sea from harm, as Olivia Swift, Senior Programme Manager at Lloyd’s Register Foundation, explains:

“Unfortunately, evidence of unlawful activities at sea, including modern slavery, smuggling and violence and harassment of seafarers, is widespread. The international community must come together to ensure human rights apply on sea as they do on land, and we are delighted to be able to support Human Rights at Sea in their work protect the safety of seafarers around the world.”

Human Rights at Sea were successful applicants to Lloyd’s Register Foundation’s Small Grants programme, granting up to £10,000 for organisations to initiate or build partnerships and test out ideas through pilot studies projects and activities in the Foundation’s strategic priority areas.  Since its inception in 2020, the scheme has invested nearly £600,000 and helped a huge cohort of projects make a significant and long-lasting impact on the safety of people and property around the world.

For more information on the small grants programme, please visit the Foundation’s calls for funding page.

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