Joining the global discussion on sexual harassment issues, and on the occasion of the International Woman's Day, the Heads of EU agencies and Joint undertakings announced they commit to zero tolerance towards sexual violence and harassment, which contradict the principle of gender equality and equal treatment, while they constitute gender-based discrimination in employment. The European Institute for Gender Equality notes:
Cases of sexual harassment and bullying, while significantly underreported, are a matter of health, safety and well-being in the workplace and need to be responded to effectively and in accordance with existing laws.
Meanwhile, a 2016 report by ISWAN on crew welfare stressed that bullying, harassment and abuse continue to be key reasons for seafarers seeking help.
The American P&I Club has earlier issued a guide advising merchant mariners and shore-based personnel on how to participate in a work environment free of sexual assault, harassment and other prohibited behaviors, advising among others to:
- Do not go ashore alone, partner with a shipmate
- Be aware of your surroundings
- Always watch for suspicious behavior
- Walk quickly and confidently. Have a plan of where you are going and do not appear lost and confused
- Keep valuables concealed; do not openly show large amounts of money
- Stay in well-lit, populated areas
- Take the phone numbers of the ship and ship's agent with you ashore
- If in a foreign country, take with you the phone number and address of the local embassy
- Know how to call for help in an emergency
- Follow your company's drug and alcohol policy