DAVAO

Editorial: Salute to seafarers

TODAY, June 25, is the Day of the Seafarer, a recognized observance by the United Nations, in recognition of the growing number of seafarers with the globalization of the economy.

The Day of the Seafarer (DotS) was established in a resolution adopted by the 2010 Diplomatic Conference in Manila to adopt the revised International Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) 1978 Convention. It seeks to recognize the unique contribution made by seafarers from all over the world to international seaborne trade, the world economy and civil society as a whole.

The resolution "encourages Governments, shipping organizations, companies, shipowners and all other parties concerned to duly and appropriately promote the Day of the Seafarer and take action to celebrate it meaningfully".

For this year's celebration, the focus is on the seafarer's mental health.

Being away from family and be at sea for long periods of time can affect a person's mental health, and the seafaring industry recognizes this.

"By addressing the issue of seafarers' wellbeing and particularly mental health, this campaign can inform specific strategies to tackle stress and other issues affecting seafarers' mental conditions - and make the tools available more widely known." the campaign website reads.

We know that majority of seafarers are Filipinos, and thus the DotS should most affect us, and the call for focus on the seafarer's mental health should be encouraged by all.

Thus, we are calling on the seafarers and their families to take time out to answer the online survey (https://bit.ly/2Hq8Oc1), which has been put up by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to hear from the seafarers themselves to make sure they know rights and if the seafarers feel that these rights are being implemented. The survey's feedback will be fed at IMO Council to make sure member states are aware of your comments, IMO said.

In a world where employers are international companies, some of whom may be operating a slavery-level operation, it helps to come out and speak up. So, take that survey and share what you know at https://bit.ly/2Hq8Oc1.

In the meantime, let's salute our seafarers. Them who have helped so many Filipino families get a better future.


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