The International Shipping Community celebrated for the 10th year the “Day of the Seafarer”, which was set by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in 2011. This year’s “Day of the Seafarer”, sends messages of solidarity to all Seafarers worldwide for the difficulties they faced during the pandemic but also of appreciation for their continued service and vital role in transporting world trade and all the necessary goods for the prosperity of the people.
In this respect, this year’s theme is “Fair Future for Seafarers”, aiming to raise awareness and safeguard a fairer future for seafarers. The Shipping Chamber, through its Awareness Campaign for Seafarers last December, has already stressed that States should acknowledge Seafarers’ contribution and support them by finding effective solutions to the below issues:
- Facilitate vaccinations for all Seafarers. Being key workers, it is important that they are vaccinated the soonest.
- Provide immediate access to medical care onshore. Seafarers face continuous delays and in some cases the refusal by Port Authorities and national health authorities worldwide, with regard to their obligation to provide immediate access to medical care onshore to Seafarers, in case of a medical emergency onboard.
- Fair Treatment. Seafarers often face criminalisation in the case of maritime incidents. They are detained and denied access to normal rules of fair play and justice with which to defend themselves against criminal charges.
The Cyprus Shipping Chamber in view of this special day and as an active member of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), participated in a global initiative organised by ICS, through its shipping Member-companies, where they sounded the horns of their ships together with other ships in ports across the world, on the day, at 12 noon local time. The horns of the ships signaled a reminder of the prolonged crisis that the Seafarers are facing due to the pandemic and the repeated calls for their immediate vaccination, in order to safeguard their health so they continue to supply the world with food, fuel and even with the vaccine itself.