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REF NO.: 154

SUBJECT: Memorial University professor to testify before U.S. Senate
DATE: July 19, 2013

Dr. Ross Klein, School of Social Work professor recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on the cruise ship industry, will again testify as an expert witness about the industry before a U.S. Senate committee hearing.
The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will hold a hearing on Wednesday, July 24, at 2:30 p.m. (EDT) titled Cruise Industry Oversight: Recent Incidents Show Need for Stronger Focus on Consumer Protection.
His appearance was specifically requested by the committee’s chairperson, Senator Jay Rockefeller, following Dr. Klein’s appearance at a hearing held in March 2012. He also testified before the Senate committee in 2008, before a House of Representatives committee in 2007, and has made numerous other presentations on the industry.
“It is a great honour to again be asked to provide my expertise and insights to the deliberations of the U.S. Senate, and gratifying to have my research program validated for its value in furthering policy development,” said Dr. Klein. “I take satisfaction from knowing my research positively impacts the lives of people and communities.” 
At the upcoming hearing, Senator Rockefeller will review the current state of consumer protection in the cruise industry in light of recent safety and security incidents that endangered thousands of Americans travelling aboard cruise ships.
“I’ve been told time and again that cruise lines will change, that things will get better for passengers. But according to our investigation, it doesn¹t seem like things have changed,” said Senator Rockefeller. “I’m coming to this hearing with an open mind, but so far the cruise lines haven’t been willing to make enough changes that matter on their own. I expect straight-forward answers from our witnesses, not more empty promises about how things will get better after the next safety review.”
Dr. Klein gives invited lectures around the world and serves as an expert witness in lawsuits against the cruise industry, including cases involving sexual assaults, environmental and social impact issues, labour rights, and passenger deaths. His publication record is lengthy including books, monographs, and published reports pertaining to sex-related crimes on cruise ships, cruise industry environmental practices, oppressive and exploitative labour practices, and passenger rights.

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