Seafarers’ Plight Prioritised by IMO

Seafarers’ Plight Prioritised by IMO

THE International Maritime Organization is urging member states to act on the challenges seafarers are facing during COVID-19, having consolidated the issues which emerged during the pandemic.

The issues were outlined in the resolution on comprehensive action to address seafarers’ challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, adopted at the 32nd session of the IMO Assembly.

The welfare of international seafarers, unable to be repatriated after months at sea, is being addressed by the IMO

While seafarers were reportedly at the forefront of IMO discussions, other resolutions relating to piracy, maritime fraud, and capacity building were also adopted.

As per the resolution, member states are urged to designate seafarers as “key workers” to enable shore leave, as well as safe, unhindered movement across borders.  

Similarly, members are encouraged to exempt seafarers from any national policy requiring proof of vaccination as a condition for entry, as the nature of seafaring requires frequent travel across borders.

The resolution urges member states to prioritise the vaccination of seafarers and provide them with immediate access to medical care when required.

This includes the facilitation of medical evacuation when care cannot be provided onboard or in the port of call.

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