ILO says hundreds of thousands of seafarers are still stranded

By Insurance Marine News, 10th December 2020 | Print version

There are still about 400,000 seafarers stranded around the world, unable to go home or obtain proper medical care, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO).

The UN agency ILO said on Tuesday December 8th that many shipping and transport workers had been at sea as long as 17 months or longer, a result of Covid-19-related restrictions making it almost impossible to rotate crews.

The ILO has adopted a resolution asking nations to take action by providing medical care to seafarers in need, waiving visa or documentation requirements and designating seafarers as key workers who are allowed to go home.

ILO Director General Guy Ryder  said that "the problems faced by seafarers resulting from efforts to contain the virus have lasted unacceptably long. These key workers continue to transport the food, medicines and goods that we need, but their extended periods at sea, and the inability of seafarers ashore to relieve them, are simply unsustainable."

At a virtual summit hosted by the UK in July a dozen countries, including the US, Germany and Singapore, agreed to open up their borders to seafarers and to increase the number of commercial flights to speed up repatriation efforts.
However, the ILO said that countries needed to act on their commitments.


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