Student Research

Protecting Human Rights and Safety of Merchant Mariners: International Maritime Commerce at the Expense of Safety and Humanity

A Capstone Project submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the California State University – Maritime Academy in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Science in Transportation and Engineering Management with a specialization in Transportation

Historically, maritime occupations have carried an inherent threat to human health, safety, and wellbeing. However, these employee populations have remained largely overlooked as an avenue of scholarly study and research. The information contained within the accompanying research was compiled in an effort to investigate the current state of affairs in regards to human rights and safety within the maritime industry. The research topic was determined to be significant because a lack of understanding of health and safety of maritime employees indicates an inadequacy to ethically and morally protect the safety, health, and wellbeing of these employees around the globe. Without continual examination of the existing status quo, there will be no way to develop improvements upon the related topics of concern within the industry. The goals and objectives of this presentation were to analyze relevant laws, regulations, acts and codes that have been established in order to protect and benefit mariners. The examinations and analyses presented herein were completed via examination of organizations such as the International Maritime Organization (IMO), and through a study done by the Marine Accident Investigation Bureau (MAIB) on behalf of the Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA). This research was intended to determine where gaps in implementation of these regulations exist, and how meaningful changes could be made to better protect this at-risk population. Reflective observation of the data generated determined that while many domestic and international rules and regulations have been established, these rules and regulations have been difficult to implement, enforce, or improve. Largely as a result of jurisdictional complications, and a lack of governing enforcement. Although limitations exist, influencing improvements in safety and wellbeing as local or regional measures would benefit and make positive change in the maritime industry.

Items