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International Chamber of Shipping Launches Effort to Combat Harassment and Bullying in Maritime

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 1062
February 21, 2024

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), representing over 80% of the world’s shipowners and operators, has launched a set of industry principles in an effort to combat and eliminate harassment and bullying in the maritime sector.

The principles were established in response to a report by the International Labour Organization (ILO), Lloyd’s Register Foundation (LRF), and Gallup, which revealed that nearly 23% of people in employment have experienced violence and harassment at work. The survey included responses from 74,364 respondents from a variety of sectors in 121 countries and territories.

ICS Director of Employment Affairs, Helio Vicente, noted that while the survey didn’t include cases on board ships, the findings underscore the importance of all industries, including the maritime sector, to prevent harassment and bullying.

“The impact of violence and harassment, when experienced by seafarers on board is significant, since a ship is often a seafarer’s home for many months,” he said**.**

The ICS has submitted its industry principles to the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The principles will be discussed in a joint meeting between the two UN bodies, governments, shipowners, and unions, set to take place later this month.

ICS’s policy paper outlines thirteen principles designed to effectively combat harassment and bullying, including the need for companies to clearly define and communicate what constitutes ‘harassment and bullying’ and to establish clear complaints management procedures.

ICS also emphasizes that company policies alone are not enough to address the issue. Collaboration between governments, shipowners, and seafarers’ representatives is crucial.

“While shipowners are responsible for implementing shipboard policies and complementary measures to eliminate harassment and bullying from ships, national governments and seafarers’ unions also have important roles to play,” said **Tim Springett, Chair of the International Chamber of Shipping Labour Affairs Committee. “**Unions can raise awareness and set expectations for their members, including appropriate deterrents, while all States should review their national civil and criminal codes to verify consistency with requirements of ILO’s Maritime Labour Convention and Violence and Harassment Convention, both of which apply to the maritime sector.”

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