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

TUES, JULY 5, 2022 | 6:00 AM EST

1) Welcome and Introduction

New members that were welcomed.

2) Activities and Scope of Work

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

  • The sub-group working on the PSSR Model Course is paused for a bit, to give everyone the opportunity to review the documents during the summer.
  • Eva Lianne will finalize the draft the document for submission for HTW9, and share that on Teams.
  • The way forward of this sub-group on the PSSR Model Course is as follows:
    1. Draft and finalize proposed amendments on requirements for KUPs for STCW Convention, Table A-VI/104
    2. Draft and finalize proposed amendments on Model Course 1.21
    3. Draft document for submission for HTW9
    4. Focus also on STCW Chapter I – Regulation 14 for Companies (Guidance regarding responsibilities of companies and recommended responsibilities of masters and crew) This regulation will provide a link to future work on the ISM Code. Familiarization Training Requirements in the ISM code: Part A 6.3 and SOLAS CH III/19.4.1

b) Evaluate and provide training options

The group will first 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 possibilities.

All group members are invited to contribute and work from a shared course-template on Teams, when they have expertise and time available.

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

  • Update from the sub-group on ‘Data Collection, Output and Harmonization’
  • 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
  • Next meeting of the sub-group will be planned in September
  • 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.

d) Awareness and response

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

Video and Social Media

  • Live YouTube sessions and/or podcast episodes
  • Create a video about our group in order to highlight our areas of expertise: what does is mean to be an ‘Agent of change’
  • Write a ‘position paper’, that we can publish to several maritime outlets. To inform what we are doing, to create awareness. Facilitating change.
  • Highlight best practices and positive actions.
  • Show that we have a diverse group of people working on this topic.


Public health congress on maritime transport:
Debbie invited us to introduce our work at the “Public Health Congress on Maritime Transport and Ports 2022: sailing to the post-COVID-19 era.” We are invited to show a short presentation at the congress to draw attention to our group, work and purpose. We have to submit a 250 words abstract before 5 August.

Position paper:

  • Write a ‘position paper’, that we can publish to several maritime outlets. To inform what we are doing, to create awareness. Facilitating change.
  • The Saudi Arabia team and Pam will start with drafting the position paper with our visions and goals.
  • Two versions are created: a one-page targeted for seafarers, and a longer scientific 3-4 page for policy makers and maritime industry.
  • The paper could be shared amongst the industry and relevant conferences, events.
  • More content can arise from this paper: infographics, explainers, presentations, etc
  • Logo’s of members of the working group can be used either on the final page of the positions paper to show the breadth of support for the working group and used as part of the infographics etc.

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 IMO/IMO working group, port-based welfare committees, IHMA forum, ICMA or other organizations and might have information.

Information from the joint IMO/IMO working group was shared, arising from the IMO Council meeting of last week. The following Governments were presented as representatives to the JTWG: Bahamas, France, Panama, Philippines, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand and United States for the task concerning bullying and harassment in the maritime sector, including sexual assault and sexual harassment.
Bahamas, United States and ITF are both member of our COPE° working group, as well as this JTWG from IMO/ILO.

3) Any other business

Sanjam invited us to introduce our work at the third Maritime SheEO conference to be held in Mumbai on November 16th, 2022. This shall be the first conference to be held in person and live-streamed globally.
The second Maritime SheEO conference held on November 23rd 2021, saw an equally impressive 3500+ participants, and 130 speakers and covered important issues relating to diversity and sustainability.

4) Next Meeting

Proposed to meet on Tuesday 16 August 2022 11.00 UTC using the Zoom platform.

Proposed future meeting days:

  • Tuesday 6 September 2022
  • Tuesday 20 September 2022

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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