Seafarers are among the world’s unsung heroes

PHOTO: Ports & Maritime News
By: Farzana Ali Khan

As the world is continued to grapple with the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, public servants have been on the frontlines of the crisis response. Including nurses, doctors and paramedics who provide life-saving care, the sanitation workers who disinfect and clean public spaces, the transportation workers who keep vehicles running the teachers who educate our children both on- and offline.

The public health officials, data managers and statisticians are providing vital and reliable information on the transmission and prevention of the disease. Many of these dedicated individuals have carried out their work in dangerous conditions, with high human interaction and without access to personal protective equipment. 

And some have lost their lives to COVID-19 in the process. Now, as we honor these essential workers and so many more, we must also reflect on how to better protect, recognize and invest in their well-being as we build back better, together. 

We are all deeply indebted to those for their remarkable acts of service to humankind.

Besides, as its 25th June The International Day of the Seafarer is being observed this is a time to attribute the world’s two million seafarers whose dedication and professionalism keep the vast majority of world trade moving safely, delivering vital goods – including food, fuel and medical supplies.

Seafarers have continued to provide this essential service under the unprecedented and difficult conditions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Even in the best of times, seafarers work for long periods away from home, their contributions largely unheralded.  Yet in recent months, their burdens have grown exponentially with COVID-related travel restrictions that have prevented hundreds of thousands of seafarers from leaving ships.  

Fatigued and weary, their time at sea has been extended months beyond the standards stipulated in international conventions. This is an unsustainable humanitarian crisis.

This year, more than ever, all countries in the world must honour our seafarers by recognizing them as key workers and providing the necessary travel assistance to ensure safe crew changeovers and repatriations.

Without seafarers, the world’s economy could not function. On this Day, let us all salute seafarers everywhere for their work and do everything possible to support them as we navigate the challenges of this pandemic together.”

“Seafarers are among the world’s unsung heroes.