Mark McGurran, Group Managing Director, Marine
I was pleased to read about a new project focusing on seafarers rights, launched by The Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI) and the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB).
We at AqualisBraemar have long valued the integrity and work ethic that seafarers bring to our team and the value they add to our client services. One of the messages to have come out of this period dealing with Covid is the essential role of the seafarer in keeping economies and kitchen tables supplied with the goods we rely on.
There has been a swell of support for the idea that seafarers are essential workers, something we have certainly always believed. Now that Covid has been with us for a while, it is a good time to remember that whilst their work is essential, seafarers efforts actually reach much more of our lives than many might realise. All those summer months of lockdown, resulting in an explosion of online shopping for kayaks, bikes for the kids, garden cricket sets, new barbecues and pretty much everything else you see around your home, almost all brought to you by sea and by the efforts of many seafarers.
Of course, this was true long before Covid, and it will continue long after Covid is (soon I hope) gone. Covid brought to light the difficulties faced by many seafarers who were unable to repatriate and ended up spending many more months away from their families as they had planned or as we as a society, or industry, should stand by and allow. We therefore welcome the efforts of initiatives like the Delivering on Seafarers’ Rights project.
This will be a joint project to develop a human rights code of conduct for charterers, and a roadmap for tackling systemic challenges which create human rights risks for seafarers – a widely-recognised gap in catalysing industry-wide policy and practice.
AqualisBraemar is already a signatory to the UNGC, and we celebrate and champion the efforts of this project and stand ready to offer our support where we can.