Nautilus International has won the award for Best Lobbying Campaign at this year's Memcom Awards for its work preventing the criminalisation of seafarers who rescue people in danger at sea.
The entry covered the Union's successful campaign to amend the UK government's Nationality and Borders Bill. The Bill would have made it a criminal offence to facilitate the arrival or entry of an asylum seeker into the UK even when this was done to save the person from imminent danger, with a possible sentence of life imprisonment. Seafarers would therefore have been criminalised for fulfilling their obligations under international law.
With the help of partner unions and other organisations, Nautilus achieved its goal with comprehensive amendments to the Bill. Home Office Minister Tom Pursglove MP confirmed in writing to the Union that the amendments exempted seafarers from criminalisation.
The Union was also Highly Commended in the Best Public Awareness Campaign or Advancement of a Cause category for its communications work following the sacking of nearly 800 seafarers by P&O Ferries in March.
As well as keeping members up to date, Nautilus appeared in 2,395 pieces of media coverage (including international, national, trade, regional and broadcast outlets) with a total audience of 368 million during just the first six days of the crisis, helping to inform the public and drive ongoing anger about the company's actions.
The Memcom awards were created to recognise excellence in professional membership communications, covering People & Leadership, Marketing & Communications, Digital, Member Engagement, Print & Publishing, PR & Campaigning, and Events & Venues and Sustainability.