Commonwealth of Dominica

Month: July 2020

Joint Press Statement of Dominica Flag Administration and Human Rights at Sea on MT GULF SKY

Press Release.

London. UK / Fairhaven/MA. USA.  Following the rapidly emerging case of the alleged kidnap of 28 Indian seafarers of the MT Gulf Sky the evening of 5 July 2020 by unknown persons and their forced transfer to Iranian waters, resulting, at the time of writing, in 26 seafarers being repatriated to India and two remaining in Tehran, awaiting documentary clearance, the Dominica Maritime Flag Administration and Human Rights at Sea would like to highlight the following short points.

Both organisations are very pleased that all Indian seafarers are safe and well and that their ordeal is now over, noting that it is understood that two seafarers are awaiting on repatriation from Iran.

The 28-man crew will be the ultimate source of the facts of the incident and debriefing is still ongoing by the relevant agencies. Meantime, time, space and support must be given to the crew to settle back into daily life with their friends and families after their ordeal.

Both organisations reiterate their absolute support for seafarers and their dependents at all times, especially those who ask for assistance and support during times of need. That support will continue alongside all other collaborative partners and stakeholders involved in such incidents.

Finally, liaison with State authorities, welfare organisations and all other pertinent parties is still ongoing.

President and CEO of the Commonwealth of Dominica International Ship Registry, Eric R. Dawicki states:

“Our initial concern was regarding the health and welfare of the crew, however it is abundantly troubling that the crew is claiming that they were either coerced or forced to pick up anchor and get underway knowingly engaging in an act of piracy.  Piracy, in any form cannot be tolerated and we believe that the crew will deliver the key from which this mystery is unlocked.”


Dominica Maritime Flag Administration joins HRAS Arbitration Webinar on 9 July 2020

Press Release.

‘Arbitration as a Means of Effective Remedy for Human Rights Abuses at Sea’

London. UK. The Commonwealth of Dominica Maritime flag Administration will be joining the 9 July 2020 webinar hosted by Human Rights at Sea and the international law firm, Shearman & Sterling LLP for the first public discussion and review of the joint project to address the concept of ‘Arbitration as a Means of Effective Remedy for Human Rights Abuses at Sea‘ following the issuing of the White Paper on 24 March 2020 focusing on a victim-led approach to the issue.

President and CEO, Captain Eric R. Dawicki, will attend online for the Panel discussing ‘Exploring how arbitration could be used to address human rights issues’ as the first flag State to become involved in the project work seeking to develop a new pathway to effective remedies for victims.

Captain Dawicki commented: ““During these opaque times, the rule of law must move forward, now more than ever, to ensure mariner and seafarer rights are being upheld and thoroughly disseminated. Arbitration can be the very bridge between parties that ensure human rights at sea becomes the very baseline from which these rights are realized and more importantly become the norm from which all maritime workers can go to work, feel safe and feel as though they are part of the all important team facilitating maritime commerce. I, for one, will do what I can to make arbitration part of the norm for resolution of mariner and seafarer rights being ensured.”

Yas Banifatemi, partner and Co-Head of the International Arbitration practice, said: “The performance of ship registries can vary significantly when it comes to human rights issues. The Commonwealth of Dominica Maritime Administration stands in a unique position in that it is taking active steps to distinguish itself as a registry that promotes the rule of law, including with respect to human rights at sea. By pledging its support to the development of an arbitration-based system of redress for human rights abuses in the maritime environment, the Administration is paving the way for other registries. Our hope is that more and more flag States will come to realize that arbitration can be a powerful tool to help ensure that vessels flying their flag adhere to key international standards, and that human rights for all seafarers are respected.

CEO, Human Rights at Sea, David Hammond commented: “We are delighted to have the keen interest of a highly-reputable flag Administration attending this event and assisting the stakeholders with the project development. This follows on from the announcement of our partnership in June to aim to deliver justice for the stranded seafarers of the MV GULF SKY reflecting our charitable objectives to support seafarers.”