The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has announced the 2021 Day of the Seafarer campaign theme of a 'fair future for seafarers' in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
IMO said during the pandemic, seafarers had found themselves 'both on the front line of the global response and subject to difficult working conditions surrounding uncertainties and difficulties around port access, re-supply, crew changeovers, [and] repatriation.'
As a result, the 2020 Day of the Seafarer campaign focused its message around urging governments to recognise seafarers as key workers and ease travel restrictions for them to facilitate crew change.
The 2021 Day of the Seafarer (now in its 11th year) will expand that message beyond the pandemic, calling for a 'fair future for seafarers'.
Post-pandemic issues that are still relevant to maritime professionals, such as fair treatment of seafarers, fair working conditions (in line with the International Labour Organization's Maritime Labour Convention), fair training, and fair safety, will be highlighted.
Leading up to 25 June, seafarers will be invited by the IMO to answer questions on what they think a fair future for them looks like. 'The answers will be shared afterwards and will provide a sounding board to help guide our actions in addressing seafarers moving forward,' said the IMO.
Seafarers, shipping companies and supporting organisations are also urged to make use of the social media hashtag #FairFuture4Seafarers to voice their position on what a fairer future for seafarers looks like.
This year's Day of the Seafarer theme follows on from the IMO's launch in February 2021 of a year of action for seafarers leading up to the UN World Maritime Day in September – highlighting seafarers' central role in the future of shipping.
IMO's Day of the Seafarer 2021 campaign also has resonance with Nautilus International's global Fairness campaigning, including its End the Crew Change Crisis campaign. The Union's Fairness umbrella campaign addresses Fair Treatment, Fair Access, Fair Pay, and Fair Society and Fair Workplaces. It demands fairness for members by highlighting best practice, shining a light on those who persist with unfair practices and working towards a society which is fairer for all.
The 25th of June was declared as the Day of the Seafarer at the end of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) diplomatic conference held in Manila in June 2010 to amend the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW). As a specialised United Nations agency, IMO sets the day's theme annually.