Meeting Minutes: COPE° Working group on Psychological Safety and Sexual Assault and Harassment in the Maritime Sector

TUES, OCTOBER 25, 2022 | 7:00 AM EST

1) Welcome and Introduction

Proposed new members.

Welcomed new members.

All proposed new members were very much welcomed to participate and to become a member of the COPE° working group.

2) Activities and Scope of Work

a) Sub-Group on Review and amend existing IMO Model Course 1.21 PSSR

Status on the work regarding the PSSR Model Course and STCW review is as follows:

  1. Document for submission for HTW9 with amendments on requirements for KUPs for STCW Convention and Code, Chapter A-VI Table1-4 is ready.
  2. Document with proposed amendments on Model Course 1.21 on PSSR is ready. And can be used as a basis for further work, both within IMO and outside IMO to develop training material.
  3. We will gather Co-Sponsors of the document. Everyone is invited to share and reach out to interested IMO Member States and NGO’s.

Action requested:

  • Start building curriculum on NEMO° PSSR Course, which will be freely available for all. Begin with outcomes and objective.

b) Evaluate and provide training options

The group will work on the IMO Model Course on PSSR, and remain open to suggestions, collaborations and/or further work. Developing a course on NEMO°, which will be offered free of costs for mariners globally, is one of the plans.

All group members are invited to contribute and develop curriculum together. We will set up a course development template, so we can divide the work and work collaboratively.

c) Harmonizing best practices and guidance documents, industry resources and studies

  • The sub-group on ‘Data Collection, Output and Harmonization’ will have the next meeting on Monday 31 October. The group will be updated for further details.
  • The group agreed on the Terms of reference for this sub-group as follows:

Terms of Reference
Sub-Group on Data Collection, Output and Harmonization

The sub-group on Data Collection, Output and Harmonization will work on:

  • Providing reliable and relatable resources of data to seafarers, maritime employers and other relevant parties.
  • Data analytics to support the work of the working group, by focusing on targeted areas of interest from an evidence-based research perspective.
  • Identification of best practices and indicate areas for further research and advice.
  • Harmonize, specify and package data outputs to make it user-friendly, practicable and commercially attractive.

While noting:

  • The value and acknowledgment of the role that data plays in our work
  • The importance of reliable resources, credibility and professionalism
  • Different kinds of perspectives, goals and approaches
  • The barriers that may arise with collecting data
  • Validation of the data by doing quality checks, methodology checks, source information, etc.

Future actions of this sub-group:

  • Debbie was asked and kindly agreed to chair and coordinate the sub-group, together with Eva.

  • We will create a resources page on the COPE° website, so information will be available more conveniently and more transparent.

  • We will create a guide for resources for the Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) for companies applicable for shipping.

Discussions about the ToR of this group regarding the term ‘commercially attractive’. This was meant to provide companies and organizations with outputs that are attractive to their businesses.

d) Awareness and response

Output relevant for mariners and other maritime professionals will be shared online by means of different channels. The working group will be open to hear the voice of the industry and take information into consideration.

  • Patti and Eva will start up a podcast/livessesion series. Episodes every two weeks.
  • Next YouTube live session is Thursday 27 October at 19.00 UTC.
  • Please find all episodes, including the new one, here:
  • Everyone is invited to participate in these podcasts. And is invited to share the invites and spread awareness.
  • Everyone is invited to share the Position Paper of our group. Please find the updated version attached to the meeting minutes.

Concern: finding someone to coordinate social media engagement.

e) Reporting mechanisms and accountability

  • Investigate more about SASH reporting mechanism, accountability, processes, responsibilities and guidance’s.
  • Invite people to think about how we can link language about reporting mechanisms and accountability of the IMO model course 1.21 into the ISM Code and ISPS Code.
  • Include information about the joint IMO/ILO working group, port-based welfare committees, IHMA forum, ICMA or other organizations and might have information.

Proposal to have a separate meeting about reporting mechanisms. Develop ideas, brainstorming sessions. Our group is the ideal platform to get various people/stakeholders together to discuss. A meeting for this group is planned on: Tuesday 1 November at 11.00 UTC

  • Agenda for this meeting:
    • Brainstorm and share ideas
    • How to properly equip relevant organizations with the tools needed.
    • Welcomes help to provide specialized training to people who are assisting people in need of mental health support.
    • Safer Waves has support guidance and training available.
    • How to get various people/stakeholders together to discuss.
    • How do we deliver this information and talk about it in forums, training, through NEMO°?

3) Any other business

  • Members of the working group will be participating and talking about the work of our group, in these upcoming conferences: Maritime SheEO to be held in Mumbai on November 16th, 2022. Hybrid meeting.
  • IMO Statistics Proposal – Investigate if it is possible to gain IMO statistics on incidents for sexual harassment/bullying etc if recorded. Potential to reach out to countries through IMO but requires additional planning.
  • ITF may have statistics/data as well. Global Maritime Forum collect data from shipmanagers to share data.

4) Next Meeting

Proposed future meeting days:

The next meetings of the COPE° Working group (main group):

  • Tuesday 15 November 2022 at 11.00 UTC

The next meeting of the Sub-Group on Data Collection, Output and Harmonization:

  • Monday 31 October at 11.00 UTC

The next meeting of the Sub-Group on Reporting mechanisms and accountability:

  • Tuesday 1 November at 11.00 UTC

List of Members and Participants

The members and participates of the COPE° Working group on Psychological Safety and Sexual Assault and Harassment in the Maritime Sector are listed below.

*The information in the list is privacy sensitive, and thus will not be published here.*

Terms of Reference

The COPE° Working group on Psychological Safety and Sexual Assault and Harassment in the Maritime Sector is hosted by Center for Ocean Policy and Economics, a subset of The Northeast Maritime Institute – College of Maritime Science. COPE° facilitates committed maritime government, non-government, corporate, education, science and technology experts and partners to collaborate and create drivers for change. Members of the working group will be sharing information, ideas, learnings and pooling resources in order to work on:

  1. developing and delivering relevant actions and impactful solutions
  2. drivers for change, in order to tackle the wicked problems present in our world today
  3. solutions to build on an international UN framework to connect the industry to objectives.

The work the COPE° working group will be driven by ethical and humanitarian based values, taking into account:

  1. building on a psychologically safe workplace culture in the maritime sector
  2. the successful integration of vulnerable and marginalized groups, in support of diversity, equality, equity, inclusion and acceptance
  3. the issues relating to sexual assault, harassment and bullying in the maritime sector
  4. transparency and integrity
  5. supporting and honoring mariners globally
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