Maritime News

Fair treatment event marks Day of the Seafarer

30 June 2017

The annual international Day of the Seafarer, 25 June, was marked by an international workshop in London promoting the fair treatment of seafarers.

The event, at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) headquarters, was organised by the ITF and Seafarers’ Rights International and was the first international workshop to promote the IMO’s 2006 guidelines on fair treatment of seafarers in the event of a maritime accident, developed in conjunction with the International Labour Organization (ILO). It was attended by high-ranking government and non-government officials and individuals from over 50 countries.

Speakers included Stephen Cotton, ITF general secretary, Kitack Lim, IMO secretary general, Corinne Vargha, ILO director of labour standards, Deirdre Fitzpatrick, executive director of Seafarers’ Rights International and Jacqueline Smith, ITF maritime coordinator. The workshop also heard from seafarers themselves about their experience of criminalisation following accidents at sea, and discussed the implementation of guidelines on the fair treatment of seafarers into national laws.

The run-up to the Day of the Seafarer, whose theme this year was “seafarers matter”, also saw a seminar on seafarer abandonment organised jointly by the IMO and Consular Corps and attended by diplomats and consular officers involved in dealing with seafarer abandonment cases. Addressing the seminar on behalf of the ITF, Katie Higginbottom, maritime projects and campaigns leader, presented case studies that the ITF had dealt with, offered advice on who should be assisting seafarers left stranded, and explained that the ITF was actively monitoring the Maritime Labour Convention for implementation of its amendments addressing abandonment. 


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