Seafarers are the unsung heroes of shipping, the industry on which everyone, everywhere relies for the goods and commodities we all need and want. But it’s a tough and demanding job which sometimes can put pressure on mental health.
This is why, this year, in 2018, IMO is joining the growing momentum within shipping to address the important issue of seafarers’ wellbeing.
A seafarer’s job can be rewarding and fulfilling, but it can also have its more difficult moments. Many different factors can affect the quality of life at sea. They include shore leave, the threat of abandonment, prompt payment of wages, the prospect of criminalisation and even simple things like internet access and provision of exercise facilities on board ship.
“Day of the Seafarer 2018 provides a platform to advocate for higher standards of welfare and enable shipping companies and others within the industry to show how they provide a good working environment for seafarers and thereby make a positive contribution to their wellbeing,” said IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim, in his annual Message for the Day of the Seafarer.
“I urge you to participate and join our campaign. Share your experiences and help us bring this important yet sometimes overlooked issue of seafarer welfare firmly into the spotlight.”
Seafarers themselves are being encouraged to share their own views and experiences through an online survey. The results of the survey will be thoroughly analysed and presented to the IMO Council.
The 2018 Day of the Seafarer campaign also has a positive message: seafarers are invited to share what a “#GoodDayatSea ” looks like and to enter the IMO/ International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) photo competition, which is sponsored by The North American Maritime Ministry Association (NAMMA).
View some of the entries here.