David Hammond Retires as CEO of Human Rights at Sea

David Hammond
David Hammond

By The Maritime Executive 2017-09-15 14:28:32

The founder of the charity Human Rights at Sea, David Hammond, will be retiring from his role as CEO and will become a Trustee effective from October 1, 2017. The charity will be appointing a new Chief Operating Officer and expanding its Trustees to bring in further expertise in support of the charity’s continuing growth.

David will be moving on to take up a senior executive role within the Third Sector based in Switzerland, though he will remain in close contact with the charity through his oversight role alongside the other Trustees.

David established the charity based on a concept and initiative that he alone developed in late 2013. It was launched in April 2014, and since then it has led the discussion on the increasingly commonly referred to topic of human rights at sea, including leading on many unique publications, public exposures of abuses at sea and the development of an innovative and leading online platform which is now commonly recognized for its independence. 

Since the charity’s launch, which was first backed by David’s personal life savings, his dedicated pro bono work and leadership has driven home the concept of human rights at sea, four words that are increasingly being used throughout the maritime sector, and globally.

Fiona Laurence, Chair of Trustees, said: "David's vision, drive and selfless commitment to Human Rights at Sea has significantly raised the profile of this fundamental topic at both national and international level. The Trustees thank David for all his efforts as both Founder and CEO. We wish David well in his new role, and we look forward to continuing to engage with him as a Trustee, further developing the very important work and core advocacy issues that underpin Human Rights at Sea." 

“It has been a genuine honor to have engaged with so many hard-working and talented individuals and entities to carve out a new international advocacy and awareness platform covering the explicit topic of human rights at sea,” said Hammond. “The time has now come to allow the charity to mature with the influence of new people and ideas, and I leave the role of CEO at a high point when reviewing all that we have achieved in the past four years.”

Hammond's achievements have been diverse, including case studies on abandoned seafarers and African economic migrants, diversity and inclusion training and the publication of guidance on mental health and on deprivation of liberty at sea.

Human Rights at Sea believes: 

 * that there should be no reason why human rights in the maritime environment should not be explicitly researched, reported and advocated for the benefit of the international community. This involves the investigation and profiling of human rights abuses in support of seafarers, fishers and their families worldwide.

 * that in the modern day the current application of human rights in the maritime environment for seafarers and fishermen often occurs through implied use at best and avoidance at worst. Such an approach is unacceptable for such a fundamental issue as human rights.

 * that abuses occur where individuals fail to identify, notify and rectify failures in the protection of an individual’s human rights, or otherwise turn a blind eye to issues and incidents because of a lack of awareness, training or moral courage.

 * that abuses occur when good people turn a blind eye to bad things.