On Friday, the International Maritime Organisation was full of a range of Government representatives including Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, Director Generals and Ambassadors in order to recognise seafarers. This event took place as part of the plans running up to Day of the Seafarer which was the 25th of June. The event and the day were established in order to recognise the commitment to the fair treatment of seafarers made by more than 50 States worldwide.
The event at the International Maritime Organization headquarters had been organised by the international Transport Workers’ Federation and the Seafarers’ Rights International. The workshop that took place at the headquarters of the Designated United Nations agency is the first organised that focused on promoting the Guidelines that cover the fair treatment of seafarers during a maritime accident. The event also allowed the representatives and attendees to explore different ways to implement the Guidelines.
The workshop that took place at the International Maritime Organisation headquarters was opened by the Executive Director of Seafarers’ Rights International, Deirdre Fitzpatrick. The event also included a number of opening addresses from figures such as Stephen Cotton, the General Secretary of the ITF, the Secretary General of the IMO, Kitack Lim, and Corinne Vargha, the Director of Labour Standards for the ILO.
The workshop has been considered by those that took part as a significant step to improve the treatment of seafarers. This improvement comes after a survey that was conducted in 2012 and uncovered that 81% of seafarers felt that they were treated unfairly throughout investigations.
As a part of the event the Maritime Coordinator for the ITF, Jacqueline Smith has reiterated her commitment to generate an immediate and practical response and assistance to seafarers that are on the ground and through an investigation. These improvements will improve the treatment of seafarers during the vulnerable experience of an investigation.