On Saturday 25th June, it was International Seafarers Day. This is an official United Nations international observance day organised by the International Maritime Organisation. The official campaign tagline this year was #AtSeaForAll. The campaign for Sea Farers Day was put together by The Medaille Trust, Apostleship of the Sea, the Police and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner under the Modern Slavery Partnership for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight (MSP).
As part of this day, the MSP asked port workers to look out for signs of modern slavery when dealing with ships docking in Hampshire ports and to report concerns to police. The partnership also wrote to cruise and shipping companies and other companies working within the port who may board ships. Thirty four letters were sent out in total to cruise companies and shipping companies in Hampshire and thirty eight emails. The letter highlighted the Day of the Sea Farer, but it also encouraged companies, as a way to mark the Day of the Seafarer, to support the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Modern Slavery Partnership by signing up to the MSP via the website www.modernslaverypartnership.org.uk. This would enable them to look out for signs of modern slavery when dealing with ships docking in Hampshire ports and to report any concerns to the authorities immediately, so appropriate action can be taken.
Overall the MSP were very pleased with the amount of exposure they were able to get to mark the Sea Farers Day.
PC Billy Boulton of the Hampshire Police Marine Unit and Roger Stone of Apostleship Of the Sea, encouraged people to contact the police if they see any signs of modern day slavery for sea farers.
BBC South Today reporter Jessica Parker interviewed Assistant Port Chaplain Peter Morgan from Apostleship of the Sea and Jess Gealer from the Medaille Trust about Sea Farers Day. It was aired on the BBC South Today show at 18:20 and again at 22:30 on the 26th June 2016. It was an opportunity to highlight sea farers rights and encourage people to recognise the signs of slavery and exploitation and to report it.
Prepared by Jess Gealer, The Medaille Trust, UK.