A UNITED Nations and industry action group has published recommendations for protecting transport workers, including seafarers, in public health emergencies.

The joint action group was set up in December 2021 to review the impact of Covid-19 on transport workers and the global supply chain.

It includes the International Labour Organization, World Health Organization, International Maritime Organization, International Chamber of Shipping, International Transport Workers’ Federation, International Air Transport Association and other air and road entities.

Among the 23 recommendations, the IMO has emphasised the recommendation that seafarers and other transport workers should be designated as key workers.

IMO secretary-general Kitack Lim signed the recommendations document on 27 January alongside the leaders of participating entities.

Social dialogue, communication, co-ordination and disseminating information were some of the biggest themes in the recommendations.

The group also urged governments to recognise the role transport workers play during public health emergencies and improve mechanisms to collaborate with authorities and other countries.

Separate to the joint action group, the IMO noted the UN secretary general’s executive committee has established an UN interagency task force on the impact of Covid-19 on seafarers.

The task force has been asked to consider the joint action group’s findings and recommendations.