International Cruise Victims Association (ICV) has worked for years to have more comprehensive safety on cruise ships. Through their efforts in working with Congress, in 2016 new cruise ship crime reporting requirements took effect, according to ICV. These new Cruise Line Incident Reports are being issued by the Department of Transportation. ICV considers this a major step forward in providing some measure of transparency in the form of the disclosure of actual sexual crimes and other crimes committed on cruise ships.
For example, the report shown below issued under the new law for 2016 indicates that sexual assaults increased 485% over previous public reports and total reported alleged crimes increased 339%.
Sexual Assault Crimes
Total reported for 2015: 13
Total reported for 2016: 63
Total Reported Crimes
Total reported for 2015: 28
Total reported for 2016: 95
ICV was formed 11 years ago to represents victims of crime on cruise ships, their families and friends, and individuals concerned about the problems of adequate medical care, victimization from crimes and disappearances on cruise ships. With several hundred members now in 35 countries, the organization advocates for legislative reform to better protect passengers from crimes and increase the rights of victims of crimes that do occur on cruise ships, and provide support to victims of crimes occurring on cruise ships.
Most cruise passengers do not realize that on the high sea, they no longer have many of the legal protections they would have in their own country since there is no independent police and they are at the mercy of where the ship has been FLAGG in countries (such as Panama, Liberia, Bahamas, etc.), which take no appropriate action when crimes occur, according to ICV.
The goal of the organization is to contribute to growing a cruise industry where passengers and crew members are safe and secure from victimization while on board a cruise ship.