ILO adopts Cyprus’ resolution for seafarers’ vaccination
A resolution for a global seafarers’ vaccination programme proposed by Cyprus has been officially adopted by the International Labour Organisation ILO.
The resolution calls for a mapping exercise to identify the number of vaccines required for seafarers ashore at seafarer supplying countries.
The resolution builds upon the proposal for a global seafarers vaccination programme presented by Cyprus earlier this year to the Imo, the ICS, and the European Union and is seen as a concrete step in identifying the magnitude of the vaccination challenge and then proceeding, working with the World Health Organisation WHO and pharmaceutical companies, to secure sufficient vaccines for seafarers.
The approach requires social partners, in consultation with shipowners’ and seafarers’ organisations and in coordination with governments and the Imo, to undertake a mapping exercise to identify the number of vaccines required for seafarers ashore.
Vassilios Demetriades, Cyprus Shipping Minister, said: “The challenge of facilitating crew changes has had a significant impact on the mental and physical well-being of seafarers and safety of vessels over the past year.
“Cyprus has always been dedicated to social responsibility and taking a proactive approach to the global challenges faced by shipping. We were determined to find a realistic approach to a global seafarer vaccination program and are extremely pleased to see our draft resolution accepted by the ILO.
Demitriadis said the next step is to engage in active conversations with the ICS and the ITF to define the way forward and put this plan into action.
Cyprus was one of the first countries worldwide that recognised seafarers as key workers and introduced all necessary measures to facilitate crew changes amid the Covid-19 pandemic. These measures have resulted in more than 1,200 seafarers being repatriated through Cyprus’ ports and airports in the past 12 months.