A GROUP of seafarers’ welfare organisations in the UK have formed a coalition that aims to address abuse, bullying, harassment, discrimination and violence at sea.
The Seafarers’ Charity, The Nautical Institute, the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) and Human Rights at Sea are among the organisations that have joined the coalition.
Safer Waves, the UK Sailing Academy, Confidential Human Factors Incident Reporting Programme (CHIRP Maritime), Befrienders Worldwide and maritime wellbeing ambassador Tineke Zoet are also part of the network.
The nine organisations aim to send a message that “seafarers do not, and should not, have to tolerate inappropriate behaviour and toxic leadership when working at sea”.
They agreed to form a network to support seafarers’ personal and psychological safety, increase understanding of the prevalence of abuse, bullying, harassment, discrimination and violence at sea, and to co-ordinate preventative solutions to the issues.
“I am saddened by seafarers’ reports of the issues they face while working at sea,” The Seafarers’ Charity chief executive Deborah Layde said.
“But I am delighted to see so many organisations willing to come together to work on potential solutions to support the personal and psychological safety of seafarers.
“The Seafarers’ Charity is committed to ensuring that this network has the resources needed to build the evidence and support required for seafarers experiencing bullying, harassment, discrimination and sexual violence onboard.”
And Human Rights at Sea CEO David Hammond said the charity was pleased to support all collaborative efforts to address the abuse issues being raised.
“It will, however, take all welfare entities and NGOs to step up and align together, without exception, to be truly effective,” Mr Hammond said.
“This new alliance needs more overt support for a common vision to be both broadly articulated and realised.”
The organisations intend to promote “joined-up working” and avoid duplication. They also aim to complement, contribute to, accelerate, and amplify existing initiatives to create safe, positive working cultures for all seafarers.
As a network, the organisations plan to come together regularly to share ideas and updates, identify opportunities for collaboration and support, identify gaps in services and resources and consult on important decisions.
They also intend to work together on a long-term, sector-wide campaign that raises awareness of the importance of the personal and psychological safety of seafarers.
The coalition was announced during Maritime Safety Week in the UK, which began on 3 July and runs until 7 July.