IMO decries rising unfair treatment of seafarers

IMO decries rising unfair treatment of seafarers


The Secretary General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Arsenio Dominguez has expressed concerns over rising cases of unfair treatment of seafarers, which he said were regrettably growing.

The IMO scribe also called for the release of the crews of Galaxy Leader and MSC Aries in his opening remarks to the IMO Legal Committee meeting.

Dominguez said there was a particularly worrying geopolitical context in which recent distressing events have taken place, and that safety and wellbeing of seafarers must remain of utmost importance.

He reiterated his call for the immediate release of the crew of Galaxy Leader, a car carrier seized by Houthis in November 2023. Noting the recent letter from the shipping industry to the Secretary General of the United Nations, Dominguez added his voice to those appealing for the release of container ship MSC Aries and its crew after the ship was seized by Iranian authorities earlier in April.

Dominguez said he was in constant search for solutions, continuing conversations with the UN and other stakeholders.

“The plight of the seafarers affected by these incidents must not be forgotten and it is incumbent upon us to pursue every available avenue to secure their safe return to their loved ones and their livelihoods.

“International shipping must not be targeted and used as a means of exerting pressure in geopolitical crises.

And I call on you here to continue your efforts to return to normalcy and for ships and seafarers to continue doing their work without threats and interruptions.

“This poses a threat to the future sustainability of merchant shipping. It negatively affects the morale of seafarers and recruitment of qualified young people into the seafaring profession,” he said.

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