LifeLine International Welcomes Human Rights at Sea’s article

  • LifeLine International Welcomes Human Rights at Sea’s article image

October 2023

LifeLine International has welcomed an insightful article from an organisation with a complimentary mission to ours, Human Rights at Sea, on the crucial issue of decriminalising suicide. In a world grappling with increased mental health pressures due to the post-COVID-19 era, alongside the impacts of natural disasters and military conflicts, we are witnessing a significant shift in the intersection of legal frameworks, stigma, crisis support, and suicide prevention.

In a world were almost a quarter of all nations either have laws to prosecute suicide attempts or have an unclear legal status, the decriminalisation of suicide becomes all the more pressing.

Criminalising suicide is an ineffective deterrent; it hinders individuals from seeking help, perpetuates stigma, and fosters ill-informed attitudes towards those experiencing a crisis. This approach not only denies individuals their right to non-judgmental support but also compounds their suffering by branding their distress as criminal.

At sea, these issues are further compounded, with the International Maritime Health Journal estimating that a significant number of deaths at sea in 2022 were linked to suicide. LifeLine International believes that the removal of these laws fosters environments where individuals are empowered to seek help without fear of legal consequences, making a profound commitment to the well-being of citizens, both ashore and at sea.

LifeLine International is at the forefront of these crucial conversations. In 2023, we are leading a global campaign to ‘Decriminalise Suicide Worldwide’, aimed at destigmatising suicide prevention and ensuring the establishment of readily available crisis support services across the world, and at sea. We intend to work with individuals and organisations in countries where suicide remains a crime, or where the laws are unclear, to advocate for meaningful legislative change. Through these changes, we hope to save lives and offer hope to those in distress, no matter their location.

We thank Human Rights at Sea for their valuable insights and look forward to continuing to work together on this important campaign.

Read the article: Breaking the Chains of Stigma and a Lifeline for Human Rights at Sea