国际海员慈善福利组织「The Mission to Seafarers」七月末发布今年第二季海员幸福指数报告，结果令人忧虑，受访海员的幸福指数下降至新冠疫情以来新低。
The Mission to Seafarers has published the latest Seafarers Happiness Index report for the second quarter of 2021 by the end of July, painting a grim picture of seafarer welfare with overall happiness dropping to an all-time low since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The average score across the 10 questions revealed happiness levels of seafarers for the second quarter of 2021 at 5.99/10, a steep and concerning drop from 6.46
in Quarter 1. Seafarers were becoming frustrated of being constantly in the same environment due to the lack of shore leave. Findings reflected the need for wider vaccination programmes via three core themes; the ban of shore leave in ports, the continued delay in keyworker status and, minimal movement for crew.
Ban of shore leave in ports causing knock-on effects
The absence of freedom of movement and continued extended contracts has dashed all the positive thoughts seafarers once had as boredom and irritation about many aspects of life at sea increase. One seafarer who responded to the survey mentioned having experienced one and a half years without setting foot on land, highlighting the dramatic need for the industry to do more.
Furthermore, the ban of shore leave and being constantly in a ship for a prolonged period has meant that physical wellbeing is being neglected. Seafarers who had been motivated to stay active during the earlier stages of their trips expressed feelings of lethargy, apathy and physical exhaustion months into their assignments.
The maritime industry has started putting its vaccination plans into action with leading flag states and big seafaring nations including Cyprus, Singapore, Philippines, Germany and the USA leading the way at their respective seafarer centres. However, with happiness levels decreasing, it is time for the industry to ramp up international progress.
Lack of keyworker status, despite rising work demands
While momentum for designating seafarers as key workers was once the topic of conversation, seafarers feel like this has been put on the backburner and they’re no longer ‘flavour of the month’. As a result, concerns over wage rises, key worker status and the fact that seafarers have been indispensable to the world economy during the pandemic have been now brought back to the fore.
Responses from seafarers also reveal a worrying trend with reports of companies – namely manning agents – lying to crew, withholding pay, underpaying, and even threatening seafarers – despite longer hours and rising workload for seafarers. Some seafarers reported having to work 11-12 hours daily, compared to 8-9 hours before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Minimal movement and crew change delays
In previous Seafarers Happiness Index reports, it was possible to see a rising tide of optimism as crews thought that either the pandemic was receding, or that vaccinations would lift the pall of the crew change crisis. The latest responses showed that if people know when they are going home, there is hope. However, if there is doubt, fear and uncertainty, then everything becomes a problem, and the pressures on board seem to be ramping up.
调查机构「The Mission to Seafarers」秘书长Andrew Wright表示，不少国家的疫苗接种计划取得进展，海员却备受忽视。本季度调查结果不单令人忧虑，对比上一季报告，更反映他们的情况正在倒退中。他认为，唯一的解决方法是再次呼吁各国政府及航运业确认海员关键工人的地位，加快为他们接种疫苗，才可能让他们获批准上岸，尽快回家与亲人团聚。更重要的是，海员的声音应受到重视，他们的诉求应该被满足，无论对国际贸易，还是应对疫情，他们功不可没。“过去一年，我们太依赖他们了，他们应该得到更好的对待”。
Andrew Wright, Secretary-General of The Mission to Seafarers said ‘As vaccination programmes in many countries have progressed, seafarers have once again been left behind. This quarter’s Seafarer Happiness Index results are not only concerning but they suggest that the situation is going backwards after the progress that had been made in the last quarter. The only sustainable solution is to once again call on governments and the industry to designate seafarers as keyworkers and speed up the vaccination process for crew, which maybe the only hope of getting them home to their loved ones, as well as permitting them shore leave. More importantly, we must continue to listen to seafarers to ensure that their demands are met. After all, these men and women have been instrumental in keeping global trade afloat including the essential supplies and equipment needed to help support effective vaccination programmes. We have leant far too heavily on them in this past year and they deserve far better’.
资料来源: 「The Mission to Seafarers」
Source: Mission to Seafarers