Amid the ongoing crew change crisis, the International Labour Organization (ILO) adopted a resolution to address the dire situation of seafarers stranded at sea.
Just a few days after the UN’s resolution to address seafarers as key workers, which was adopted on December 1st, ILO also issued resolution, in an effort to support seafarers and the global supply chains.
The problems faced by seafarers resulting from efforts to contain the virus have lasted unacceptably long. These key workers continue to transport the food, medicines and goods that we need, but their extended periods at sea, and the inability of seafarers ashore to relieve them, are simply unsustainable. The Resolution sets out the actions to be taken urgently.
…said ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder.
Namely, the Governing Body of the International Labour Office, urges all members, in accordance with applicable national laws and regulations, to:
- Engage, in consultation with social partners, in collaborative actions to identify obstacles to crew changes, and establish and implement measurable, time-bound plans to ensure safe crew change and travel of seafarers, taking into account the Recommended Framework of Protocols as may be revised.
- Designate seafarers as “key workers”, for the purpose of facilitation of safe and unhindered movement for embarking or disembarking a vessel, and the facilitation of shore leave, and when necessary, to shore-based medical treatment.
- Consider the acceptance of internationally recognized documentation carried by seafarers, including seafarers’ identity documents delivered in conformity with ILO Conventions Nos 108 and 185.
- Ensure that a seafarer who is in need of immediate medical care is given access to medical facilities ashore, emergency medical treatment regardless of nationality and, where necessary, emergency repatriation.
- Consider temporary measures including waivers, exemptions or other changes to visa or documentary requirements that might normally apply to seafarers.
The Resolution also calls on the ILO secretariat to report on coordinated action taken by United Nations organizations and the social partners to follow-up on the Resolution. Concluding, the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) recently applauded UN’s and ILO’s decisions on crew change.
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