Today, in the pursuit of a socially integrated maritime, and occasioned by the “World Day of Social Justice”, the whole industry is discussing the issue of social justice onboard and ashore trying to raise awareness regarding discriminations based on age, caste, creed, religion, gender or physical differences and human rights violations etc….In year 2019, we are not there yet..

Social justice: The basics

Social justice is defined as a concept of fair and just relations between the individual and society. With the vision of promoting social justice globally, the United Nations General Assembly on 26th November 2007 approved the observance of “World Day of social Justice”, which is observed on 20th February, beginning in 2009. ILO (International Labour Office) actively participates by giving statements on vital issues concerning social justice. In particular, since 1919, the International Labour Organization has built a system of international labor standards, including the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, which established minimum working and living standards for all seafarers. Currently, ILO is celebrating 100 years of working in favor of social justice and working rights.

What shipping misses when it comes social justice?

  1. Learnability

Good learners letting go of old rules and learning new ones; getting rid of old habits that hold them back and supersede them by others. Ship operators and crew members need to unlearn the old norms and get to the next level. This is a process of exploration by using different methods of searching everything known and value to discover unknowns (Relearn).

  1. Equity

Social Justice should be for all. There is great need that the industry examines its beliefs about social justice and give frequent opportunities to employees consider that the ways in which they see maritime world help them to become conscientious beings who work to create a positive change in their own community and, by extension, in the global maritime.

  1. Dismantling of patriarchy

Patriarchy describes a general structure in which men have power over women. With women making up only an estimated 2% of the world’s maritime workforce in year 2019, shipping industry is still a patriarchal community consisted of a male-dominated power structure.

According to Maritime HR Association survey data from 2017, maritime women are paid on average 45% less than men and constitute only a 7% of management positions, leading us to assume that gender pay gap is the top of the iceberg along other factors keeping women away from shipping careers.

  1. Resilience

As stated in previous SAFETY4SEA articles, in the industry misses a clear understanding of resilience which, among others, can help ensure sustainability, social and environmental justice. Maritime community needs to put much more effort in addressing its vulnerabilities regarding development, socioeconomic conditions but also sensitivities to possible threats.

  1. Actions, Attitudes, Beliefs

The right mindset is not yet in place. To achieve social justice, the industry needs to be alerted concerning the great need to change beliefs and adopt the appropriate attitudes to fight the above mentioned discriminations and human rights violations.

Social justice cannot be attained by violence. Violence kills what it intends to create.

Pope John Paul II.

  1. Pairing divergent thinking with convergent thinking

Certainly, the combination of these two ways of thinking can help pursue a socially integrated maritime. Divergent thinking explores different solutions and is most often associated with the brainstorming. On the other hand, convergent thinking can narrow down solutions and arrive at a single right answer.

Change your thoughts and you change your world.

Norman Vincent Peale.