Seafarers are a key aspect of the maritime industry, and also a key part of the global economy, allowing the majority of the world’s trade to make it safely from one port to another. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is therefore leading‘Day of the Seafarer’, a campaign which aims to recognise the role of seafarers and give thanks for all they do.
Taking place tomorrow, 25 June, the day will see a theme of ‘At Sea for All’ – focusing on celebrating seafarers and letting the world know how they are indispensable to everyone. “The Day of the Seafarer gives us all a chance to reflect on how much we all rely on seafarers for most of the things we take for granted in our everyday lives”said IMO Secretary General, Kitack Lim.
Whilst many shipping companies value their seafarers and treat them well,some seafarers are still being treated poorly. In some cases, seafarers have been left unpaid, forced to live and work in poor conditions, abused and even kidnapped – with many instances being un-investigated. To highlight the importance of seafarer welfare and human rights in the maritime sector, it is important that the industry comes together to discuss the future of maritime human rights.
The first ever International Maritime Human Rights Conference will take place on 14 September at the Royal College of Surgeons, London. This ground-breaking event will openly tackle human rights requirements, abuses and protection in the maritime industry and bring together global maritime industry leaders and world-renowned human rights advocates to address topics including;
• The need for explicit engagement with maritime human rights
• Seafarer welfare – challenges, responsibilities and education
• The fishing community – challenges and development
• Gender and LGBT equality in the maritime industry
• Refugees and migrants – including rescues and impact on crew
• Corporate Social Responsibility – including the application of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
• Investigation of human rights abuses at sea