PortandTerminal.com, June 18, 2020
Let’s call it what it is. One of the reasons 300,000 seafarers languish at sea waiting to come home is racism plain and simple.
HALIFAX, CANADA – Statistically, most of the people who work on cargo ships share three things in common. They’re not white, they come from poorer nations and they’re out of sight, tucked away on vessels making sure our sneakers, soybeans and petroleum get delivered on time.
Why is repatriating a group of people whom we dare call “essential workers” yet treat so poorly such a problem?
How is that we were able to repatriate thousands of rich, white cruise ship passengers stranded on COVID-19 infected ships not long ago but are unable to bring home the hardworking seafarers we are relying upon to help drag us out of global economic recession?
Demographics – Brown and Poor
According to the International Chamber of Shipping, the worldwide population of seafarers serving on internationally trading merchant ships is estimated at 1,647,500 seafarers, of which 774,000 are officers and 873,500 are ratings.
China, the Philippines, Indonesia, the Russian Federation and Ukraine are estimated to be the five largest supply countries for all seafarers (officers and ratings).
The Philippines is the biggest supplier of ratings, followed by China, Indonesia, the Russian Federation and Ukraine. While China is the biggest supplier of officers, followed by the Philippines, India, Indonesia and the Russian Federation.
Why are they so many people of color crewing our ships? Because we can pay them less and they’re grateful to have the jobs. Let’s not pretend otherwise.
How serious is the crisis now?
How serious is the crew repatriation crisis? Serious enough that the pope addressed the growing humanitarian seafarer crisis yesterday from the Vatican.
In a video message from June 17, the pope told seafarers and people who fish for a living that “in these past months, your lives and your work have seen significant changes; you have had to make, and are continuing to make, many sacrifices.”
“Long periods spent aboard ships without being able to disembark, separation from families, friends and native countries, fear of infection — all these things are a heavy burden to bear, now more than ever,” the pope said.
It’s not often that the Pope weighs in on global logistics issues so you know things must be pretty bad.
Other articles you may find interesting
Copyright © 2020 PortandTerminal.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.