Ahead of tomorrow’s celebration of the 2020 edition of the annual Seafarers Day, which is the 10th in the series with the theme: “Seafarers are Key Workers: Essential to Shipping, Essential to the World” and #SeafarersAreKeyWorkers, the International Maritime Organisation IMO has commended seafarers across the world for their huge sacrifice towards sustaining the global supply chain, especially under the coronavirus pandemic.

The United Nations has set June 25 of every year to remember and appreciate seafarers for the sacrifice and fatal risk they face in their efforts to sustain the global supply chain, even under the current pandemic.

Seafarers are on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic, playing an essential role in maintaining the flow of vital goods, such as food, medicines and medical supplies. However, the crisis has led to difficult working conditions for seafarers, including uncertainties and difficulties about port access, re-supply, crew changeovers and repatriation. 

Secretary-General of the IMO, Kitack Lim, while speaking on the occasion, highlights the unique and essential work of seafarers.

“Just like other key workers, seafarers are on the front line in this global fight. They deserve our thanks. But they also need – and deserve – quick and decisive Social Media. As in previous years, the Day of the Seafarer campaign is centered on social media.

This hashtag can be used by anyone engaging in the campaign to pay tribute to seafarers and thank them for their important role in these unusual times.

Seafarers themselves can use it to showcase their own position at the front line of this global crisis and share their experience with the rest of the world. Shipping companies and port organisations are also invited to show their appreciation for seafarers.

All IMO’s social media platforms will be featured but Twitter, Facebook and Instagram will account for most activity. humanitarian action from governments everywhere, not just during the pandemic, but at all times”, Lim said.

This year, the Day of the Seafarer campaign calls on Member States to recognize seafarers as key workers – and to provide them with the support, assistance and travel options open to all key workers during the pandemic.

The 2020 Day of the Seafarer campaign pays tribute to seafarers, acknowledging their sacrifice and the issues they face. Many seafarers have been away from home for months and are unsure when they will be able to return home due to travel restrictions. 

The campaign also seeks to raise awareness of the work achieved by seafarers in response to the pandemic and to thank them for their contribution. Everyone is invited to recognize that the ability of seafarers to deliver vital goods is central to responding to, and eventually overcoming, this pandemic.

The campaign encourages everyone to treat seafarers with the respect and dignity they deserve so that they can continue to provide their vital services to keep world trade moving.

In support of the Day of the Seafarer campaign, a webinar on the theme “Seafarers are key workers: Essential to shipping, essential to the world” was held online today, Wednesday 24 June. The webinar addressed issues seafarers are facing during the pandemic, including crew changes and repatriation.