Bring Them Home!
Despite a universal campaign from all sectors of the shipping industry to classify seafarers as key workers, and to facilitate crew transfers, many governments are slow to respond to the growing situation in supporting seafarers especially with regards to their movement to and from the ships.
Stringent requirements on border controls have led to some estimates that 30% of all seafarers on ships are continuing to serve onboard even after completing their Seafarer Employment Agreement (SEA), with at least 5% of all seafarers have been on board for over 12 months in breach of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC).
We call upon governments, health, maritime and airline authorities to resolve this growing humanitarian crisis and to also consider that not only the severe effect on the mental health and well-being of seafarers, but also the very real danger to safe operations posed by exhausted and mentally fatigued crew on board. We need governments to recognise the commitment that seafarers have made during the pandemic, provide them with key worker status and open the borders, allowing seafarers to return home.