ITF Urges On Seafarers’ Human Rights Amid Crew Change Crisis


Amid the crew change crisis within the maritime industry, International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and the Joint Negotiating Group, issued a joint statement to urge seafarers’ rights, reports Safety4Sea.

Seafarer rights

In fact, the two organizations call shipowners, charterers, management companies, manning agents, hiring partners, and all other stakeholders to commit to not applying pressure on seafarers or coercing them in any way to extend their contracts.

Neither should they deny seafarers the ability to exercise their human right to stop working, leave ships, and return home.

In light of the situation, IMEC Chairman Capt Belal Ahmed commented:

“It is important that seafarers are not disadvantaged for merely standing up for themselves when they have completed their contracts and are mentally and physically not ready to continue to work safely. We urgently call for cargo owners/operators, charterers and brokers to agree on charter party agreements that allow flexibility for ship owners/managers to divert ships and call in ports where crew change is possible, without imposing penalties.”

What is more, ITF’s General Secretary, Stephen Cotton said the federation and its affiliates were urging all stakeholders in the industry to take responsibility for supporting crew change wherever they could.

“It is the responsibility and duty of all maritime stakeholders to highlight the dire situation faced by seafarers. Most importantly, however, it is the responsibility of the international leaders to acknowledge the dedication and efforts of seafarers in this unprecedented pandemic, and accept that their plight can no longer be ignored.”

Overall, following the crew change issue that has presented ITF and the International Maritime Employers’ Council (IMEC) have jointly offered $500.000 to support countries that adopt best practices for a crew change.

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