After Maersk Line, Limited was hit with two lawsuits claiming that it failed to protect US Merchant Marine Academy midshipmen from sexual assault and harassment, Minister of Trade and Industry Simon Kollerup ordered the Danish Maritime Authority to carry out a study of the working conditions on all ships flying the Danish flag.
s Mr. Kollerup said “you should not go to work and experience that you are being violated or bullied. And what we have witnessed in this case is quite terrible. It is entirely appropriate to ask for such a study, and we will then launch it.”
He also praised Moller-Marsk for taking responsibility for itself and initiating their own investigation with interviews of the company’s female employees who work at sea.
However, he noted that the Danish Maritime Authority should help uncover the scope of the problem within the entire industry.
A study is of course not medicine for this problem, but it is a mapping where we find out how widespread this is and where to intervene
On the other hand, the Minister expects the shipping companies themselves to make a great effort to change the culture among the seafarers, so that the harassment at sea can be stopped.
One of the victims was known as “Midshipman-X” after she anonymously shared her story about how she was raped by her superior on board a Maersk Line, Limited during her Sea Year training in 2019. The second lawsuit is the process of being refiled due to a procedural issue.
Responding to news that Hope Hicks, aka “Midshipman-X”, has taken a case against shipping giant Maersk, seafarers’ unions called for employers to ensure their safe workplace policies are actually being followed, before more seafarers are driven from an industry facing crew shortages.