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Klein raising awareness about violence

Dr. Ross Klein brought his expertise on cruise ships to two important public forums last month. The Social Work professor and cruise ship expert participated in a press conference June 17 in Ottawa. The conference was convened by Brian Masse, a member of parliament from Windsor West, on the topic of sexual assaults and other crimes against Canadians on cruise ships.

The conference was associated with an initiative to educate Canadians about the risks of cruise vacations and an effort to put into place at least the same safeguards for Canadians as exist for U.S. citizens.

Currently the cruise ship industry is not required to report crimes against Canadians, including crew and passengers, on their ships. In contrast, members of the Cruise Line International Association which represents 23 cruise lines and 150 ships, have committed to report to the FBI all crimes against Americans on ships operating anywhere in the world.

Specifically they will discuss sexual assaults, mysterious disappearances of passengers, and robberies and the effect that reporting by cruise ship lines to U.S. government has had on the outcome of safety and security on cruise ships and why this same reporting is necessary in Canada.

On Thursday, June 19, Dr. Klein was one of four people invited to testify before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation’s Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security.

The focus of the hearing is Cruise Ship Safety: Examining Potential Steps for Keeping Americans Safe at Sea.

Others invited to testify are Terry Dale, president of the Cruise Line International Association; Ken Carver, president of International Cruise Victims Association, and Evelyn Fortier, vice-president for Public Policy of the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network.