There are regional treaties and systems to protect human rights in Europe, the Americas and Africa.

Unlike the international human rights treaties, the regional human rights systems only bind those States within the region that have ratified the relevant treaty. However, they may apply to ships flagged under their jurisdiction even when those ships carry foreign nationals and are in foreign ports. For example, a ship flying the Norwegian flag, even under the International Register, will be subject to the requirements of the ECHR even if the crew consists of foreign nationals and it only calls in foreign ports.

Regional human rights instruments include: