City of Geneva Formally Supports Geneva Declaration Development

Founder of Human Rights at Sea, David Hammond (left) and Mayor of Geneva, Sami Kanaan (right).
Founder of Human Rights at Sea, David Hammond (left) and Mayor of Geneva, Sami Kanaan (right).

By The Maritime Executive 05-25-2019 09:04:23

The City of Geneva has formally supported and endorsed the development of Geneva Declaration on Human Rights at Sea in a signing ceremony held at the Palace Eynard in Geneva between the Mayor of Geneva, Sami Kanaan, and the Founder of the charity, Human Rights at Sea, David Hammond.

The Declaration, conceived and introduced by Human Rights at Sea aims to ensure compliance with international human rights at sea, particularly in areas beyond territorial jurisdiction.

The concept of the Declaration is to deliver a soft law instrument which captures the concept of “human rights at sea” and the founding principle that “human rights apply at sea as they do on land” for all persons living, working, transiting or engaged in any other type of activity at sea. It reflects internationally recognized fundamental human rights stemming from established international conventions and instruments.

First issued by the charity on April 5, 2019, the Geneva Declaration is undergoing stakeholder development both in Geneva and worldwide, including a second round drafting session held this month at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights hosted by Professor Marco Sassoli, Director of the Geneva Academy.

Dr. Caroline Abu Sa’da, Director of SOS Mediterranean Switzerland helped bring about the Geneva endorsement issued by the Office of the Mayor. The endorsement says, in part: “The City of Geneva reaffirms the importance it attaches to human rights, especially in the area of rescue at sea. The situation of migrants drama remains in the Mediterranean with more than 17,000 deaths since 2014, of which more than 2260 in 2018, according to figures from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

“The Geneva Declaration recalls the fundamental principles of international law in human rights and rescue at sea. Its main objective is to raise awareness public opinion to the violation of human rights at sea and thus to provoke an international mobilization to end it.”