Stephen Cotton is General Secretary of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) since August 2014, and was Acting General Secretary since October 2012. He joined the ITF in 1993. Under Stephen’s leadership, the number of flags of convenience ships covered by ITF approved collective agreements increased from less than 2000 to more than 12000, the ITF Inspectorate expanded from 35 to a total of 124 inspectors worldwide, and the ITF won a remarkable advance for the protection of seafarers’ rights when the Maritime Labour Convention was signed in 2006. In 2014, Stephen was appointed honouree of the Admiral of the Ocean Sea Awards for defending the well-being and fair treatment of seafarers around the world. Stephen is also a trustee of the ITF Seafarers’ Trust and of the International Maritime Training Trust.