The Danish Maritime Authority has conducted a survey on quantitative and qualitative results of a study of bullying and harassment in the Danish merchant fleet.
n particular, questionnaire was completed by 3,470 seafarers in six different segments of the Danish fleet, revealing a significant number of cases of bullying, harassment, unwanted sexual attention, threats of violence, and physical violence.
The survey results showed that the most vulnerable groups were the youngest age group under 31, women, new arrivals, junior officers, and seafarers from the freight segment.
Furthermore, the least vulnerable were seafarers from the offshore segment, passenger ships, ferries, and sailors in small crews across segments.
The perpetrator of bullying was in more than half (60%) of cases a colleague of the same level, while in 30% of cases it was a senior officer who perpetrated the harassment.
Unfortunately, according to the survey, qualitative results also indicate a widespread culture of mob, negatively impacting the mental health of some seafarers.
To remind, according to the latest data by International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN), calls and messages from seafarers relating to mental health increased by 37% in the last quarter, across all helplines operated by ISWAN.
To minimize the percentages mentioned above and their dire consequences to the crew’s mental health, there needs to be immediate action, a reality which the maritime industry is starting to face.
For instance, as today is World Mental Health Day, various industry experts have responded to SAFETY4SEA’s question “What should the maritime industry do to align seafarers’ mental health as a human right effectively?”, suggesting important ideas to promote mental health onboard.