SRI, the international pan-industry body researching maritime and seafarers’ law, has applauded the decision by the first meeting of a joint International Labour Organization (ILO) – International Maritime Organization (IMO) Tripartite Working Group to adopt new measures which improve conditions for seafarers who have been abandoned.
Deirdre Fitzpatrick, Executive Director of SRI says: “We welcome these new Guidelines in the hope that they will reverse the increasing tide of cases of abandonment of seafarers. The lack of a framework to adequately protect abandoned seafarers has been frustrating – but we are delighted to see that positive change is happening.
“The abandonment of seafarers is a stain on our industry, and it has been shocking to see the rise in cases over past years. We have first seen the pandemic take its toll and this has been followed by global uncertainty. Yet, at every turn, it seems to be the seafarer who has borne the brunt of the situation,” she adds.
Obtaining redress in case of violation of seafarers’ rights is often challenging as a result of the multiple jurisdictions and laws and regulations involved.
Brian Orrell OBE, Chair of the SRI Advisory Board who led the seafarers’ group in the negotiations that resulted in the Maritime Labour Convention 2006, says: “Congratulations to the social partners and in particular to the seafarers’ group for the leadership that they have taken to achieve these Guidelines. Global issues require global solutions, and it is heartening to finally see a concerted effort from Flag States, Port States and States where recruitment and placement services operate to work with seafarers’ and shipowners’ organisations.”