White Paper: Empowering People working at Sea from Training to Justice


Following two years of research, peer outreach and associated drafting, Human Rights at Sea’s Advisory Board member Toon van de Sande has completed an initial White Paper covering his thoughts on how to better develop a culture (and continuum) of care alongside increased seafarer empowerment throughout the maritime environment.

The focus of the White paper, entitled ‘Empowering People working at Sea from Training to Justice’, combines professional personal experience with an assessed need for even greater support to seafarers’ welfare training standards, welfare provision, human and labour rights protections and access to justice when abuses occur at sea.

Key questions being raised by Toon and mirrored by Human Rights at Sea (HRAS), are:
• What should be done when human rights at sea are breached?
• How can these abuses be prevented?
• What are the root causes and how to solve the issues?
• How to effectively cooperate with interested multiple stakeholder groups and shipping industry entities?
• How can victims be effectively assisted and supported so that justice is done and is seen to be done?
• How can victims and their dependents be rehabilitated and how can they be effectively remediated?

Toon has been supported in his endeavour by Capt. Michael Lloyd, Stefan Francke (SPWO), Capt. Kuba Szymanski (InterManager), Johan Smith (Sailors’ Society), Olivia Swift (Lloyds’ Register Foundation), Mirella Stroink, PhD, Dean, (Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences Lakehead University Thunder Bay), Paul MacGillivary (Human Rights at Sea Australia), Neil Greenberg (March on Stress), Stephen Window (The Nautical Institute) and our CEO, David Hammond.

As Toon states in respect of the aim of his paper: “I hope to bring together the reasons for the need for an established ‘Continuum of Care’ combined with human rights protections.”

Human Rights at Sea is delighted to support these significant personal efforts to further stimulate such an important discussion and catalyse action by welfare stakeholders to address a new culture and continuum of care at sea.