RightShip has announced a new partnership with the Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI) after a long-standing relationship. To formalise the partnership, RightShip made a charitable donation to its ‘Delivering on Seafarers’ Rights’ project, part of a working group focused on the human side of shipping.
The project aims to enhance the support available for seafarers who are unable to access basic workers’ rights, particularly highlighted during the 2020/2021 crew change crisis that has occurred as a result of COVID-19. It is co-led by SSI and the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB), has been designed to create a clear human rights code of conduct for the industry and due diligence guidance to strategically remove the systemic issues that presently generate welfare concerns for seafarers.
The need for such a code of conduct has been obvious for some time, but more than 300,000 seafarers stranded on vessels, working beyond contracts and being exposed to repatriation failures makes the demand for change immediate. Increasingly, there is additional pressure to improve supply chain standards for workers, with calls from investors, associations, governments and consumers to put an end to human rights violations.
RightShip is pleased to be among SSI members working to drive sustainable change for the industry’s essential workers. Other organisations engaged in the working group include The China Navigation Company, Forum for the Future, Louis Dreyfus Company, Oldendorff Carriers, Rafto Foundation, South32 and Standard Chartered Bank.
The group has a shared vision to improve chartering due diligence and raise code of conduct standards for all industry players. This goal is underpinned by international labour and human rights principles and will bring charterers, owners and operators together to ensure there is a unified approach to enhancing seafarers’ rights and wellbeing. This will be achieved through increased transparency on labour and human rights, clearer contractual expectations and supply chain standards.
According to RightShip CEO, Steen Lund, a shared vision and clear roadmap are essential to the success of the program, “As a member of the Sustainable Shipping Initiative, RightShip aims to contribute thought leadership together with a diverse range of stakeholders, canvass different perspectives, convene debate and feed into the ongoing and wider dialogue on human rights to ensure that we see an end to the unacceptable practices taking place at sea. In addition, as part of a wider approach to sustainability, we seek to find realistic solutions for decarbonisation, zero-emissions shipping and the role of sustainable biofuels in the energy transition. Therefore, we see a natural and ongoing partnership with SSI”.
David Peel, General Manager at RightShip added, “I have had the privilege of working with SSI for several years and believe the working group has the capacity to initiate real change. While it should not have taken a global pandemic for us to mandate a code of conduct for seafarers’ rights, this historic event has renewed the sense of urgency. Our seafarers are the lifeblood of our industry, it is no longer acceptable to have them facing physical or mental health risks.”
Andrew Stephens, Executive Director at SSI welcomed the donation from RightShip, “The human and labour rights risks seafarers face around the world go beyond the ongoing crew change crisis. We need to tackle the systemic challenges that have allowed this crisis to take place and ensure that seafarers’ rights are upheld and protected. We welcome the generous donation from RightShip to help us continue this work, and look forward to working closely together to continue our collective journey to a sustainable shipping industry.”