Seafarers experienced great hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic due to becoming front liners in 2020. They faced highly difficult working conditions namely with port access, supplies, crew changeovers, repatriation etc.
For this reason, the 11th iteration of the Day of the Seafarer will focus on urging governments to recognise seafarers as key workers. The aim is to ease travel restrictions for seafarers to facilitate crew changes and launched the #FairFuture4Seafarers initiative for the Day of the Seafarer 2021. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic in fact, workers were either having to work beyond their contracts and therefore not return home, or inversely board ships and earn a living.
The Day of the Seafarer is coordinated by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). Secretary-General Kitack Lim pointed out how sea transport delivers most items which are used in our daily lives, such from food to automobiles. In 2021, the Day of the Seafarer will continue to aim to drive action in ensuring international standards of competency, welfare and safety for seafarers.
In occasion of the yearly event, Seafarers were invited to answer questions on what a fair future for seafarers looked like. The answers are being shared to provide a baseline help guide IMO’s future actions. Results can be found here