June 25th marks the third international Day of the Seafarer, an official United Nations observance day.
This year, IMO is celebrating the occasion with a social media campaign calling on all supply chain partners, including those beyond the maritime sector, to help highlight the sheer diversity and scale of products used in everyday life that travel by sea, and to recognize the importance of the people that deliver them; more than 1.5 million seafarers.
In his annual Day of the Seafarer message, IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu said, “Seafarers operate on the ‘front line’ of the shipping industry, and this year’s campaign theme, Faces of the Sea, aims to highlight the individuals that are often unseen, but who work to deliver more than 90% of the world’s goods. We will ask the seafarers themselves to show us snapshots of their daily life at sea, to give them a voice and share their story on a global stage, via social media”.
Mr. Sekimizu noted that 2013 is a landmark year for the seafaring community, as the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC 2006) enters into force in August. “This marks significant progress in the recognition of seafarers’ roles and the need to safeguard their well-being and working conditions,” he said.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also highlighted the Day of the Seafarer, with a special message urging everyone to remember the contribution of seafarers to world trade and development.
“On the Day of the Seafarer, I urge everyone to spare a thought for those courageous seafarers, men and women from all corners of the world, who face danger and tough working conditions to operate today’s complex, highly technical ships, every hour of every day of the year – and on whom we all depend,” he said.