A brand new and vital public international resource where information and data can be submitted and recorded in regards to missing sailors and fishermen on a worldwide scale has now been unveiled.

The Missing Seafarers Register ‘s first phase as part of the Missing Seafarers Reporting Programme has now officially been launched by Human Rights at Sea (HRAS), an independent maritime human rights organization which is based in London and was established back in April of 2014.

You can access the programme through multiple various websites (www.missingseafarers.org, www.missingmariners.org, ww.missingseamen.org) as well as via the HRAS home page. The platform is focused on compiling an accurate and relevant international database regarding the status of sailors and fishermen that have gone missing at sea worldwide. With time plans are for it to turn into a multilingual database where cases of missing seafarers and fishermen can be registered as well as tracked, while also providing an option for people with key information to post and update data via a moderated and securely encrypted platform.

The Programme’s main objective is to keep the issue of sailors and fishermen lost at sea relevant and to gain as well as raise international awareness by profiling individual cases to various maritime authorities, flag states, governments, ship owners/managers, civil society organizations, NGOs and the general public, of course. The Programme will also focus on supporting legal investigations in relation to specific cases of abuse, injury or even death at sea, when deemed possible.

David Hammond, Barrister and Founder of Human Rights at Sea, who’s the master conceiver behind the programme in question, commented:

“The whole process behind the creating and unleashing of the first publicly available phases regarding the Missing Seafarers Reporting Programme has been truly a tremendous effort from all those who were involved in the project. The initial funding that was provided by Seafarers UK made it possible for HRAS to rapidly develop this innovative concept along with the brilliant team from C Data Services, as well as to expedite its introduction to the maritime and international communities in just 4 months. Our plans are for this platform to become a flagship programme or the HRAS. Its global importance has not been diminished in any way on any of the entities that were involved in both its conceptual and practical development phases. I express my wholehearted gratitude to all the people that have made this HRAS project possible - starting from our development team and going to all our funders, our Supporting Entities as well as international partners. In my opinion this programme serves the role of a perfect example of how the HRAS strives to provide practical solutions in relation to human rights issues in the whole maritime environment”.

Mike Robinson, Operations Director of C Data Services who designed and built the platform had this to say:

“As of this moment there are absolutely no statistics and data available on the number of people missing from the 1.5 million total seafarers that are registered worldwide. This fact makes The Missing Seafarers Register a truly integral and key resource in regards to investigation and analysis, along with emphasizing the importance of this problem to a bigger audience. Having two of our Directors previously serve at sea, we completely understand and relate to the plight of missing seamen and their families, thus we are nothing but honored to take part in this campaign of higher importance.”

The HRAS would not have been able to carry out this project if it were not for the generous funding provided by Seafarers UK, Mishcon de Reya LLP, the Sailors’ Society and The Fishermen’s Mission along with legal support and guidance from Holman Fenwick Willan LLP and Mishcon de Reya LLP.