Repatriation of abandoned crews was one of the key topics discussed at last week’s International Labour Organization (ILO) Special Tripartite Committee on the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), with owners, unions and regulators in attendance.
The three days of discussion raised a raft of issues including those facing cadets and trainees in gaining access to the industry, the discriminatory practice of mandatory pregnancy testing for women seafarers, barriers to women seafarers gaining access to the industry, automation and digitalisation, recruitment and placement, fair treatment on criminalisation of seafarers, abandonment, shore leaves, isolation and mental distress, harassment and bullying, age discrimination, social communication and abandonment.
The meeting concluded that the roadmap ahead would include stakeholders taking a proactive role in ensuring the facilitation of the repatriation of abandoned seafarers, an issue Splash has been campaigning about for the past three years.
Cases of crew abandonment continue, albeit not in the surging numbers seen in 2016 and 2017. In the past six months the ILO’s database of abandoned ships has added 11 new cases.