Coronavirus: Seafarers stuck at sea ‘a humanitarian crisis’


26th January, 2021 02:40:03 printer

Coronavirus: Seafarers stuck at sea ‘a humanitarian crisis’

The fate of more than 200,000 seafarers who play a crucial role in keeping global trade flowing is being labelled a "humanitarian crisis at sea".

More than 300 firms and organisations are urging for them to be treated as "key workers", so they can return home without risking public health.

More than 90% of global trade - from household goods to medical supplies - is moved by sea.

But governments have banned crew from coming ashore amid Covid-19 fears.

Large firms including shipping titan AP Moller-Maersk, oil firms BP and Shell, consumer giant Unilever and mining groups Rio Tinto and Vale, as well as maritime transporters, unions, the World Economic Forum (WEF) and other supply chain partners have signed the Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing and Crew Change.

They are calling for all countries to designate seafarers as key workers and implement crew change protocols.