Day of the Seafarer / International Maritime Organization

The purpose of the Seafarer  day is to give thanks to seafarers for their contribution to the world economy and the civil society; and for the risks and personal costs they bear while on their jobs.

day of the seafarer

In 2010, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), decided to designate June 25th as the International Day of the Seafarer as a way to recognize that almost everything that we use in our daily lives has been directly or indirectly affected by sea transport.

According to IMO’s estimates, ships transport almost 90 percent of the world’s goods trade. Seafarers are not only responsible for the operations of such ships, but are also responsible for the safe and smooth delivery of the cargo.

The day not only acknowledges the invaluable work of seafarers, but also aims to bring global attention to the issues affecting their work and lives, such as piracy. It calls on governments to develop policies that lead to fair treatment of seafarers at ports, and asks private ship companies and owners to provide their employees proper facilities and comforts while they are at sea.

Since 2011, the IMO has taken the celebration of the Day of the Seafarer online, calling for the public to use social media such as Facebook and Twitter, to voice their support for seafarers and to thank them for their work.

The United Nations has now included the Day of the Seafarer in its list of observances. It has always been recognized that the best way of improving safety at sea is by developing international regulations that are followed by all shipping nations and from the mid-19th century onwards a number of such treaties were adopted. Several countries proposed that a permanent international body should be established to promote maritime safety more effectively, but it was not until the establishment of the United Nations itself that these hopes were realized. In 1948 an international conference in Geneva adopted a convention formally establishing IMO (the original name was the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization, or IMCO, but the name was changed in 1982 to IMO).

The IMO Convention entered into force in 1958 and the new Organization met for the first time the following year. IMO’s first task was to adopt a new version of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), the most important of all treaties dealing with maritime safety. This was achieved in 1960 and IMO then turned its attention to such matters as the facilitation of international maritime traffic, load lines and the carriage of dangerous goods, while the system of measuring the tonnage of ships was revised.

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