This week on Even Keel, I talk to Capt. Rahul Varma. (https://www.linkedin.com/in/rahul-varma-57a09589) about Criminalisation and what seafarers could do about it. He speaks of procedural rights and why it is a everyday concern and how seafarers should be empowered to deal with it.
There are enough guidelines out there. The IMO is working on improving their current guidelines for fair treatment of seafarers in an accident to include the treatment of seafarers suspected to be involved in maritime crimes. There is the casualty investigation code. The UNCLOS and MLC. These in itself maybe sufficient protective measures that are already available to deal with the criminal sanctions on seafarers. But the conventions, rules, guidelines, regulations, codes, in themselves cannot ensure fair treatment. The reality is more complex. Political. Emotional. A lot depends on the willingness of individual states - port states, coastal states, flag states, seafarers states - to recognise and implement and give full effect to the various conventions, guidelines and codes. It is more important for Industry organisations and seafarers organisations themselves keep the matter always burning. Not just smoldering.