Seafarer’s Needs in the Pandemic: The Neptune Declaration

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A new declaration calling for seafarers to be considered essential workers is gaining support across international boundaries, with almost 70 countries signing on. Catholic agency Stella Maris Australia supports this declaration; the Catholic agency provides spiritual and practical support to seafarers, while also engaging in international advocacy on their behalf. The agency also actively supports local efforts to approach the Australian Government in regard to the ongoing rights and wellbeing of seafarers. The Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing and Crew Change calls for better practices in facilitating changes of crew, and for early access for seafarers to COVID-19 vaccinations. Many seafarers are affected by expiration of contracts, the inability to disembark at some ports, and physical and mental health challenges. The Neptune Declaration states:  

              “This is not an acceptable way to treat seafarers, who are the frontline workers  
               of the maritime industry, carrying 90 per cent of global trade….Fatigue after 
extended periods at sea has significant consequences on the physical and mental
wellbeing of seafarers.” 

Click here to access the Neptune Declaration.