Members of the International Cruise Victims (ICV) announced that a proposal has been made by the United States to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a division of the UN in London, which seeks to improve the reporting and handling of cruise ship crimes. These new proposals to the IMO are based upon the principals of the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act which was sponsored by the ICV and signed into law in July of 2010.

The process of having the IMO consider these proposals was started last fall by ICV after the passage of the legislation in the United States. Some of the specific provisions of the United States law mandate passenger ships carry supplies used in the treatment of victims of sexual assault, as well as the development of crime scene preservation training, and the modification of ship design and construction to prevent the potential for persons falling over board. Except for the United States flagged ships or foreign flagged ships operating in an area subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, there are no international guidelines that explicitly address these passenger safety and security concerns.

ICV fully expects this to be, just the beginning, of bringing standards to the world for the cruise line industry.  With 169 countries in the IMO, this will be a difficult path, but having the United States request that this be on the Agenda of the Safety Committee for this organization, which is part of the United Nations, is a major start. This will be a long process, so our goal is that individual countries will move forward in the meantime, as the United States has done, to mandate this protection for their citizens.

The next step is for ICV members and supporters to ask for support from legislators around the world.  “All of our members are victims or families of victims of the cruise industry, and we are committed to working as hard as we can to help with the approval of this important proposal", says Kendall Carver, Chairman of ICV.

International Cruise Victims organization is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing support to victims of crimes that occur on cruise ships, and to act as an advocate for legislative reform to protect passengers from crimes and increase the rights of victims of crimes that occur on cruise ships. Over the next few months we anticipate additional action being taken in several counties to mandate protection for their own citizens.