Cruise & Ferry Review - Autumn/Winter 2020

1 5 9 “This mistreatment of seafarers needs to be strongly condemned by all and action taken to remedy the situation.” periods in excess of terms going beyond what is provided for by the Maritime Labour Convention 2006, as revised.” Under the MLC, these contractual periods must not exceed 11 months: “As a result, there is evidence that seafarers’ mental health is rapidly being compromised, particularly in a situation where it is natural to want to be with or near family and loved ones and that fatigue levels are rising significantly endangering shipping operations in general. These issues have to be addressed as a matter of urgency.” The economic crisis precipitated by the Covid-19 pandemic is only aggravating these very serious issues and increasing the vulnerability of seafarers. “It is very disturbing to learn that many do not have access to any type of social protection scheme in the event that they lose their jobs. I have devoted many years of my life to addressing these issues, and I think it is time to enhance the social security coverage of our seafarers. The services of seafarers are indispensable to the wellbeing of the global community and particularly critical during this Covid-19 pandemic. “As stated by the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization, the world must recognise seafarers as ‘key workers’ for the global supply chain. It is therefore important to recognise them as such and enable them to transit and transfer for repatriation or to join ships, enabling the smooth flow of maritime trade.” Doumbia-Henry has been relieved to witness more effective activity and collaboration among industry stakeholders: “They have come together and exercised previously unseen pressure on states to relieve seafarers’ plight while looking for innovative solutions in order to provide smooth and safe repatriation mechanisms.”