New Guidance Tackles Shipboard Bullying

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Photo: Creative Commons

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) have teamed up and developed new guidance to prevent bullying and harassment on-board ships.

The Guidance on Eliminating Shipboard Harassment and Bullying provides advice to shipping companies, seafarers and seafarers’ organizations on policies, complaints and grievance procedures to combat bullying and harassment.

These guidelines have been launched prior to International Labor Organization (ILO) Special Tripartite Committee on the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) to be held in February in Geneva.

The new rules address the responsibilities of seafarers and their employers to use these procedures appropriately and for being aware of any harassment or bullying that might occur within the maritime workplace. This includes any instances of cyber-bullying.

“Ship-owners fully accept the need to develop policies and plans to eliminate any harassment and bullying as a matter of good employment practice. Bullying has serious consequences for the physical and emotional health of seafarers and can also compromise teamwork with negative consequences for the safety of the ship and its crew. The fact that ICS and ITF have collaborated to produce this new Guidance is therefore a very positive development,” ICS Secretary General, Peter Hinchliffe stated.

Writing by Nadeem (c) gCaptain