Human Rights to Sea : HRAS Non-executive Advisory Board expands its reach and expertise

London. UK.  The Human Rights at Sea non-executive Advisory Board has expanded with new members across a range of professional disciplines reflecting broad experience and networks to support the ongoing work being undertaken by the charity in addressing matters of human rights abuse at sea.
The charity is delighted to welcome Dr Bonny Ling (UK), Alexander Marcopoulos (France), Paul MacGillivary (Australia), Toon van de Sande (Netherlands), Kimberley Motley (USA), Yrhen Bernard S. Balinis (Indonesia), Philipp Hermes (Germany), Dr Andrew Johnson (Scotland) and a former Trustee, Nigel Shattock (UK) who has retired to join the Board having supported the charity since its inception in 2014.
The Advisory Board role is a voluntary one whereby its members are able to support areas of work and projects which align with their personal and professional interests and experience.

New Advisory Board members

Dr. Bonny Ling is a scholar and practitioner who works on international human rights and development. She has worked in the UN system and in international civil society. She holds a Ph.D. in Law from the Irish Centre for Human Rights, M.Phil. (Cantab) in Criminology and MA in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School, Tufts University.
Dr. Ling also consults as a legal analyst on responsible business conduct with a focus on Asia; and has served as an international election observer in East Timor and for the OSCE. Previously at the University of Zurich in Switzerland from 2014-2019, she is an independent scholar based in the UK and holds the position of Senior Research Fellow and Associate Lecturer at the Cambridge Centre for Applied Research in Human Trafficking for her work and research on human trafficking. She writes on human rights, migrants, business responsibilities and international law.


Alexander Marcopoulos is counsel in the International Arbitration practice of Shearman & Sterling LLP, based in Paris, France. A Greek and US national, he represents companies and States in commercial, investor/State and maritime arbitrations carried out under the auspices of a variety of institutional rules, including those of the ICC, ICSID, UNCITRAL, SCC and the LMAA.
His practice focuses particularly on disputes in the construction, energy and maritime sectors. Alexander is featured in Who’s Who Legal Arbitration – Future Leaders 2020. He is also consistently recognized as a “Rising Star” in the field of commercial arbitration in Euromoney’s LMG Rising Stars expert guide since 2017. Alexander has also worked with the Office of the Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, assisting in the prosecution of those accused of participating in the 1994 Rwanda Genocide.
Paul MacGillivary. Starting in a British Columbia shipyard in 1973, Paul MacGillivary has worked 48 years in the maritime industry, 34 of those spent in technical, safety and project management. He is a certified Chief Engineer and holds a Master of Science degree in Maritime Management from Maine Maritime Academy.
Highlights of his career include engagement as vice-chair of the board, Mission to Seafarers – Vancouver, involvement in the final Ships of Shame Inquiry (1998), inauguration of the National Seafarers’ Welfare Advisory Council as a founding director, and participation with the team that ratified the Maritime Labour Convention in Australia, including its representative at the ILO. Paul has led MLC implementation workshops and taught numerous MLC Train the Trainer courses at the ILO’s International Training Centre in Turin, in addition to other organisations, most recently in October 2020. Originating from his role as ISM lead auditor with DNV in the 1990s, Paul is a long-term advocate of seafarers’ rights.
Paul commented: “I very much welcome my new role as a Human Rights at Sea Advisory Board member and look forward to applying my experience and passion to the HRAS mission to raise awareness, implementation, and accountability of human rights provisions throughout the maritime environment.
Toon van de Sande. Toon started his career as a theologian. Currently, Toon is regularly working as a chief mate in the inland shipping. In 2020 he finished a research and advise project to restart a professional form of welfare-work in the port of Rotterdam. From 2012-2015 Toon’s mayor task was Assistant Programme Director for the ‘Maritime Piracy – a Humanitarian Response Programme’. He was involved in the setup of that programme from the very beginning in 2010. Read more.
Toon commented: “I see Human Rights at Sea adding this important element of justice and human rights to the process of getting through a crisis and thus helping people. And that is why I would like to cooperate with HRAS.
I am not an expert in legal matters, but I envision a potential task of assisting individuals who wish to initiate or have been involved in legal proceedings in the field of mental health. And I would also like to dedicate myself to sensitizing welfare workers to the justice aspect, which completes the continuum of care. This takes their work beyond mere individual assistance, as unjust structures should not be overlooked.
Kimberley Motley. US Attorney Kimberley Motley has earned the reputation as one of the world’s most respected and successful international human rights lawyers. The former beauty queen, (Mrs. Wisconsin-America 2004) is a force to be reckoned with. Armed with an unwavering determination and a passion for justice, Motley traveled to Afghanistan when she became the first and only foreign lawyer to ever litigate in Afghanistan’s Courts.
She has been practicing law internationally, primarily on human rights issues, for over twelve years and her practice has grown to where she represents people on every continent. Her success has included but is not limited to, securing the first Presidential Pardon for a woman charged with adultery which subsequently decriminalized running away as a crime in Afghanistan, successfully working on international child abduction cases which resulted in the return of British and Australian children ages ranging from 2 years to 8 years old, successfully working in Bolivia on stopping the legalization of child rapes under the age of 6 through the representation of a forensic doctor, successfully working towards the release of Former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim in Malaysia. Read more.
Kimberley commented: “I have very much respected and admired the work of HRAS particularly their amplification of human rights issues which are often overlooked due to capitalist greed.  I look forward to doing my part in learning and working with HRAS to raise awareness.
Yrhen Bernard S. Balinis, is a navigator by profession and a journalist by heart. With the goal of advancing the maritime industry onwards, he decided to be an active member of renowned professional bodies: The Royal Institute of Navigation (RIN), The Nautical Institute (NI), and the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST).
I am also serving as an Education and Training Committee member of Asia Marine Educators Association (AMEA). He is a regular columnist for RIN’s Navigation News writing for their Younger Members’ Group. Additionally, I am the author of numerous articles published in various international maritime-related journals including NI’s Seaways,Safety4Sea’s special column, Seafarer Stories, and Marino World Magazine. Read more.
Yrhen commented: “I firmly believe that we, the next generation of maritime professionals, will soon be the primary drivers in propelling the industry onwards. Affirming this notion, it is high time that we take up space and join the discussion of how we want our future to be. Being one with this new generation, my principle centers in my “Five S of Shipping: Safe, Secure, Smart, Sustainable, and incluSive”. My goal is to represent the young seafarers, maritime professionals and cadets in the Human Rights at Sea (HRAS). I will advocate their inclusion on matters concerning their welfare and upholding their rights. Special attention will be given on their E.T.E.M.P: just selection and Employment opportunities; fair Treatment onboard; conducive working and living Environments; favorable learning and Mentoring culture; and Promotion and career progression.
Philipp Hermes is a lawyer qualified in German law in 2008. He started his career in Hamburg in a law firm specialised in ship finance and was advising banks, shipowners and shipyards. In 2013 he joined a family-owned shipping company as General Counsel and member to the board. In November that year, Philipp set up Bureau Hermes Maritime (BHM) which became the international law firm BHM Penlaw in April 2014.
In 2017, he founded Tethys Naval, a boutique consultancy firm specialised in conceptualising and managing the operational regime for private-public security matters in the maritime domain with an emphasis on international law enforcement, human rights and the rule of law in cross-sectoral and cross-border dimensions. Philipp is appointed advisor to international public organisations and the private sector pertaining security affairs in the maritime domain and the rule of law.
He also serves as commander (res.) with the German navy and acts as legal advisor with different NATO headquarters. Since 2020 Philipp is living in Brussels.
Philipp commented: “It is of paramount importance to foster to all stakeholders and actors in the maritime domain the respect for and adherence of Human Rights at Sea and to promote cross-sectoral enforcement of Human Rights at Sea. Because Human rights apply at sea, as they do on land. I am pleased in joining the HRAS board of advisors to contribute my share in this fundamental task.
 Dr Andrew F Johnson is Assistant Professor of sustainable seafood in the Marine Sustainability, Policy and Conservation Evidence (MarineSPACE) group at the Lyell centre, Heriot-Watt University, Scotland. Andrew is also CEO of MarFishEco Fisheries Consultants Ltd, a consulting firm that provides objective advice to fisheries enterprises, NGOs and governments. Having worked in fisheries for over 17 years, Andrew has seen first-hand how a drive towards sustainable fisheries needs to take into account more than just the environmental impacts of fisheries practices. His experience spans 18 countries in both industrial and small-scale fisheries.  Andrew’s written works include authorship in over 40 peer-review articles as well as the UN’s new World Ocean Assessment, the FAO’s Illuminating Hidden Harvests and the IPBES assessment. 
Andrew commented: “I am excited to bring his fisheries expertise and business knowledge to HRAS and looks forward to contributing to the important work of the HRAS team.

Former Trustee moves to join Advisory Board

Nigel Shattock is a senior communications, fundraising, marketing and public affairs professional. He was Director of Fundraising & Communications at Seafarers UK from 2011 to 2019, and previous roles have included being Head of International Maritime Events at Informa Group (under the Lloyds List banner), Director of External Communications at the British Bankers’ Association (now UK Finance), and Head of Communications for the national arm of Citizens Advice.
 Nigel has a BSC Hons with a Psychology major, an MBA in International Management and is a Clore Social Leadership fellow. He is a Trustee of the charity, Streets Ahead Rwanda, and is the lead role for the Clore Social London Chapter. Nigel is currently engaged with a number of Interim and consultancy projects for various organisations, providing strategic and operational support in stakeholder, relationship and partnership management, fundraising and business development and strategic communications.
Nigel commented: “Having been on a journey with Human Rights at Sea (HRAS) since its early days – mainly from the grant funding and PR side of the fence at The Seafarers’ Charity, but latterly as a HRAS Trustee – I am now stepping across to the HRAS Advisory Board. I will therefore be less involved on a day-to-day basis, but will happily continue to support closely the work of HRAS, championing its core aim of raising awareness of human rights abuses within the maritime environment.
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