As COVID-19’s effects reverberate across Myanmar’s economic sectors, authorities acted to ease the suffering of many whose livelihoods were lost or at risk, Unfortunately, the country’s seafarers were sadly overlooked. Despite their crucial work, they were not designated as essential workers, as have been done for their colleagues from other nations, which meant they were kept marooned at sea and on land, unable to move freely and be reassigned to earn a living for themselves, their families and country.
Through the S.O.S. Myanmar campaign, conducted primarily through emotionally-driven Facebook content and media engagement, ERA and concerned members of the maritime/ seafaring community looked to drive advocacy for the seafarers’ designation as essential workers. To date, efforts are still ongoing. However, the chorus of voices supporting the plight of seamen, many of whom have not seen their families for several months stranded on ships, are on the rise.
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