All Shipping Industry Meets In Geneva To Promote Jobs For Women And Young People
A conference was held in Geneva, Switzerland where all sides of the shipping industry came together to discuss the promotion of seafaring jobs to women and young people. The meeting was organized at the headquarters of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and was attended by representatives from shipowners, maritime trade unions and governments, with all three spokespeople being women who represented the Chamber of Shipping of America, the ITF seafarers’ section and the US Coast Guard.
In the meeting, the issues on the barriers to women and young people entering seafaring as a career, including discriminatory practices, and current issues facing seafarers were discussed. There are many barriers for women in seafaring which mostly includes the practice of mandatory pregnancy testing, which is now considered discriminatory by many governments. Young recruits can also be deterred because of difficulties in social communication, shore leave, training and sea time.
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The meeting ended at the conclusion that stakeholders should take an active role in facilitating measures to break down the barriers. These included ensuring:
- shore leave and the establishment of seafarers’ welfare committees
- that cadets, trainees, young seafarers, and women have the necessary time at sea to be licensed
- the repatriation of abandoned seafarers and prompt assistance to seafarers in cases of criminalization, piracy and armed robbery
policies on zero tolerance for bullying and harassment.
- It also recommended that the ILO convene a tripartite meeting with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to consider a range of specific issues affecting seafarer employment and conditions of work.