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Human rights at sea with pragmatism: a complete approach to the problems facing seamen since the COVID-19 pandemic- DIFFICULTIES AND RISKS RELATED TO THE MARITIME INDUSTRY CAUSED BY THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

A complete approach to the problems facing seamen since the COVID-19 pandemic

For flag nations, port administrations, and shipping- and crewing businesses, the COVID-19 epidemic presented severe difficulties. Since international shipping and governments could not enable crew changes and adequately address these problems, crew changes were significantly hampered. There was a humanitarian crisis at sea due to restrictions on crew changes and delays in repatriation, including measures put in place by nations.

Due to the increased danger of extreme exhaustion, physical problems, and mental health issues, mariners and seafarers were more likely to experience collisions, collisions with other vessels, and groundings. Fundamental human rights and maritime labour rights could not be guaranteed and protected. Ships cannot transport commodities or perform services without people. The crew transition situation revealed a severe threat to our worldwide supply chain.

The World Health Organization (WHO), UNCTAD (ILO), and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) urged governments, the shipping industry, and other stakeholders to step up efforts to protect seafarer health and safety in February 2022 to prevent supply chain disruptions during the ongoing pandemic.

Many seamen still work at sea nowadays.

Forced to continue working onboard ships after their contract has ended, unable to leave the ship to receive medical attention or to travel freely, abandoned by their employers, and left alone on the boat without assistance or support, not given a chance to receive a complete COVID-19 vaccination, and not regarded as “key workers.”

Further action is required from all parties involved globally due to the severe risk to human well-being and threats to global supply chains.


The employees at Northeast Marine Institute, The Commonwealth of Dominica Maritime Administration, and the Center for Ocean Policy and Economics (COPE°) firmly support the “human factor,” which they see as the most crucial component of international maritime trade.


The Commonwealth of Dominica’s Marine Administration is dedicated to the safety and welfare of all seafarers and will enforce the strictest maritime safety and security regulations. The Maritime Administration is committed to safeguarding the marine environment and preventing ship-related pollution.


The Maritime Administration of Dominica is dedicated to the security and well-being of seafarers and takes its duties extremely seriously. To ensure that the nation’s shipping sector complies with international maritime agreements and norms, the Maritime Administration works closely (with IMO) and other marine organizations.

The management of the nation’s seafarer training programme falls within the purview of the Maritime Administration. The program’s goal is to guarantee seafarers have the training and credentials necessary to safely and effectively perform their jobs on ships safely and effectively.

All seafarers working in Dominica can rely on the Maritime Administration to provide a safe and secure workplace. The Maritime Administration collaborates closely with the nation’s law enforcement and has a zero-tolerance attitude toward the exploitation and abuse of seafarers.



Their national COVID-19 vaccination programs prioritize immunization of seafarers to the extent that is practical, taking into account the WHO SAGE Roadmap4’s recommendations for prioritizing the use of COVID-19 vaccines; and COVID-19 vaccines to seafarers of other nationalities, taking into account national vaccines supply;

Considering the availability of national vaccines, consider giving COVID-19 vaccines to seafarers of other nationalities; consider exempting seafarers from any national policy requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination as a requirement for entry; give seafarers immediate access to medical care, and make it easier for medical evacuation of seafarers in need.

All IMO Member States and international organizations are urged to ensure that all parties involved know this resolution.

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