As many countries have restricted travellers from outside their own, ship crew members are facing a ‘Humanitarian Crisis’ at sea.
UN agencies and programmes involved in the maritime sector, human rights, trade, travel and transportation have called on all UN Member States, through a joint statement, to take urgent action to resolve the humanitarian crew change crisis faced by the world’s seafarers.
Seafarers should be treated as ‘key workers’ so they can safely return home, says the International Labour Organization.
The heads of the maritime, labor and aviation organizations of the United Nations have issued a plea for urgent action on crew changes and for keyworker designation so that sea and air workers can be relieved and repatriated in a safe way during the COVID-19 pandemic.
IMO, the WHO and the ILO have urged Governments to facilitate trade by ship and allow crew movements during the coronavirus pandemic, while protecting seafarers to ensure they can continue to deliver vital goods, including medical supplies and food.
Iceland and Ethiopia have become the latest member states of the ILO to ratify the MLC 2006, which sets out minimum international working and living conditions for seafarers on board vessels
Thailand has committed itself to ensure acceptable living and working conditions for fishers on board ships by ratifying the Work in Fishing Convention.
ICS and the ITF have jointly released new ‘Guidelines for implementing the Welfare aspects of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC)’.
The ITF has welcomed the positive outcome of the third meeting of the Special Tripartite Committee of the ILO (International Labour Organization) in Geneva.