SRI was launched at the headquarters of the International Maritime Organization of the United Nations by the then Secretary-General, Mr. Efthimios E. Mitropoulos, on World Maritime Day in the Year of the Seafarer, 23 September 2010. At the launch, Secretary-General Mitropoulos said:
“When 2010 was first proposed as the Year of the Seafarer, I remarked upon the unique hazards that confront the 1.5 million seafarers in the world. As well as the natural hazards of the sea and the elements, which they have to deal with as a matter of course, they also face exceptional hazard, such as pirate attacks, unwarranted detention and abandonment. The launch of Seafarers’ Rights International today will undoubtedly help those seafarers caught up in those hazards, through no fault of their own, by providing a centre dedicated to advancing seafarers’ interests through research, education and legal training concerning seafarers’ issues.”
To promote, implement, enforce and advance all seafarers’ and fishers’ rights and remedies, including human rights and the rights of other persons on board vessels, through research, education and training throughout the international maritime industry, and advocacy in international, regional and national forums, and to provide a database of materials for the benefit of the international community.