International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) Secretary-General calls for fairness
#FairFuture4Seafarers is the theme for IMO’s 2021 campaign, championing the act of honouring and respecting the rights of seafarers. Secretary-General Kitack Lim rallied for the world’s appreciation for the people sustaining global trade.
Fairness for seafarers
In an appeal video, Lim highlighted the importance of this group of unsung heroes – responsible for sustaining our everyday living through bringing essentials to us. Acknowledging the colossal damages from COVID-19, Lim stressed how seafarers pressed on to keep our global trade functioning despite detrimental conditions onboard.
Last year at Day of the Seafarer (25 June 2020), the IMO asked the world to recognise seafarers as key workers. Despite many countries’ responses, there was barely any improvements. Seafarers are stranded onboard and ashore from border closures, plus vaccine shortages resulting in job loss.
Appealing for seafarers’ appreciation, Lim stressed the importance of concrete actions to restore the old norm of seafaring practices. This include safe and secure environment onboard, reasonable working conditions and fair treatment in all situations, not forgetting respect for the rights of seafarers regardless of gender, race and religion.
In IMO’s website, videos of seafarers’ visions of fair future are posted. On the subject of what is important for the future of seafarers, Captain Badri Tetemadze from Georgia in his short clip shared about the enforcement of Maritime Labour Convention. He said, “The ultimate issue has been finally exposed to the world ; the importance of seafaring as an occupation. At the same time, it unveiled the unseen and unheard issues. Depriving seafarers of provision of not only physical, but also mental, social dimensions of their well-being at the very psychosocial working environments, success of the industry can become very questionable.” Cpt Tetemadze strongly believes revision and proper enforcement of the Maritime Labour Convention, and simultaneously raising awareness are the only viable ways to ensure seafarers’ having a healthier and happier future.
Cpt Veronica Bonimy from the Bahamas advocated collaborative efforts between seafarers, organisations and governmental bodies to implement policies, rules and laws that positively impact seafarers. The IMO urges active participation in the discussion and sharing of unique visions of a seafarer’s fair future.
Crewing Online Media Team
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