As the Covid-19 pandemic continues its devastating impact, Sailors’ Society’s CEO Sara Baade highlights why we’ve joined more than 400 companies to sign the Neptune Declaration, calling on Governments around the world to give the world’s 1.6 million seafarers the key worker status they rightly deserve.
Invisible heroes – at Sailors’ Society, that’s what we call seafarers. They make great sacrifices to transport almost all the goods we use every day, but they’re cut off from society behind port walls or beyond the horizon, often forgotten by the people who benefit from their work.
Seafarers have never felt more invisible than now.
With the coronavirus pandemic raging around the globe, hundreds of thousands of them have been trapped on board ships for many months after they should have returned home to their families.
Many global governments – preoccupied with stopping the deadly spread of the virus around their countries – have ignored calls to give seafarers key worker status and allow crew changes.
We’re seeing a huge impact on the physical and mental health of the exhausted seafarers stranded at sea, and a crippling financial cost for those who are unable to get to sea to provide for their families.
The men and women of this great industry, that keeps economies turning around the world, are being brought to their knees.
That’s why, along with the other members of the International Christian Maritime Association and more than 400 other companies and organisations, we’ve signed the Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing and Crew Change.
The Neptune Declaration urges governments, the maritime industry and other key stakeholders to work together to give seafarers the key worker recognition they deserve, providing them with priority access to vaccines, establishing gold standard health protocols, facilitating crew changes and ensuring air connectivity for seafarers between key maritime hubs.
We need this action now, to prevent a global crisis turning into an ongoing financial and mental health catastrophe for the 1.6 million seafarers on whom we all rely.