The walk aimed to symbolise the marathon seafarers are facing from the beginning of the pandemic onwards but with no finish line on the horizon, becoming collateral victims of this health crisis.
The chamber’s president and members of its board of directors, during the initiative, called again on the international community and governments around the world to safeguard the rights of those who do not only transport cargo but also progress and development.
The Cyprus Shipping Chamber stressed that states should acknowledge seafarers’ contribution and support them by finding effective solutions to the below issues:
Provide immediate access to medical care onshore. Seafarers face continuous delays and in some cases the refusal by port authorities and national health authorities worldwide, with regard to their obligation to provide immediate access to medical care onshore to Seafarers, in case of a medical emergency onboard.
Fair Treatment. Seafarers often face criminalisation in the case of maritime incidents. They are detained and denied access to normal rules of fair play and justice with which to defend themselves against criminal charges.
Facilitate Crew Changes and Repatriation. Implement proper protocols as approved by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to facilitate with safety crew changes and seafarers’ repatriation.
Include in vaccination prioritisation categories. Being key workers, it is important to include them among the categories that will receive priority vaccination.
This important initiative raised funds through contributions of the chamber’s member-companies and other business associates, which will be donated to ‘The Mission to Seafarers’ in Cyprus, whose work is to improve seafarers’ welfare worldwide.