the challenges faced by seafarers – women and men sailing and working aboard
ships – the United Nations International Maritime Organization has called on
everyone around the world to show appreciation for their vital
contributions. “Even though seafaring can provide the basis for a
fulfilling and life-long career, it is still a very difficult and demanding
job,” Kitack Lim, the Secretary-General of the International Maritime
Organization (IMO), said in his message on Day of the Seafarer on
to personal issues, conditions onboard ships and in ports, unpaid wages, and
even abandonment, mariners have to contend with long periods away from family
and friends and the pressure to perform in a challenging economic environment,
which multiply the anguish.
“It is easy
for seafarers to feel lonely and isolated. To imagine that they do not matter.
This year, we want to show [everyone] that seafarers do matter,” stressed Mr.
Lim, which is also the theme for this year's commemoration.
particular, he praised the role of seafarer's centres at port cities, where
sailors and crew of ships visit for a “small taste of home” – a sanctuary where
they can rest, recuperate, connect with loved ones back home, especially
through social media, and if necessary avail of support to help them adjust and
“We want to
create a platform to give ports and seafarer centres the opportunity to
demonstrate how much seafarer matter,” noted the IMO chief, at the Duckdalben
Seafarer's Centre in Hamburg, Germany, one of Europe's biggest ports. He also
spoke of events organized at ports and seafarer’s centres around the
world to connect the general public to seafarers and celebrate their