UN celebrates Seafarers’ day to commemorate their hard work and resilience during the world Pandemic

By Oviya Vaiz, June 26, 2020

Seafarers’ day is celebrated on 25th June to remember the contribution of seafarers all around the world. This year the struggles of these workers have risen to a higher notch during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Seafarers have faced issues like over working beyond their contracts, continuous extension of contract, lack of transit facilities to go home, delayed payment of salaries, etc. Despite these struggles seafarers have managed to keep the world trade functioning excellently. Supply of essential goods like medicines, food, etc has been kept in a steady flow throughout the lockdown.

2020 Seafarer’ day urges all IMO nations to acknowledge the sacrifice of these workers and to provide support for the betterment and welfare of seafarers throughout the world. The campaign seeks to pay tribute to all seafarers and throw light upon the importance of their role.

All IMO members are encouraged to recognize seafarers as key workers and provide them with utmost care and assistance especially in providing transit options for the seafarers to go back to their home countries.

This day also aims to spread awareness about the essential role played by seafarers especially since they have been responsible for 80% of the world trade by volume. Most seafarers’ amidst the pandemic are under tremendous stress, fatigue and weariness caused due to overload of work as a result of constant extension of contracts and their helplessness regarding going back home.

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said that, “Just like other key workers, seafarers are on the front line in this global fight. They deserve our thanks. But they also need – and deserve – quick and decisive humanitarian action from governments everywhere, not just during the pandemic, but at all times”.

He has time and again emphasized on the dedication and resilience of these key workers and encouraged relieving of crew members by replacement. The unfavourable conditions faced by crew members include lack of proper medical care, low availability personal protection equipments, etc. 

Mr. Lim also added that, “Despite all these challenges, seafarers have stayed on the job, 24/7”.