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

TUES, 30 MAY 2023 | 7:00 AM EST

1) Welcome and Introduction

Everyone is invited to introduce themselves, and/or connect to each other.

New system for taking on new members to our group: People and stakeholders who are interested in our group and wish to join meetings, are welcomed at all times. Membership to COPE° is open to everyone. We aim to be an inclusive, open and diverse group.

2) Sub-group on psychological safety | PS Group

Leader: Jillian Carson-Jackson

Eva provides a summary of the work and proceedings of the PS Group.

Goal: A short and essential free NEMO° course for all people to understand the basics of psychological safety, and how to report, prevent and address bullying and SASH. Grasp attention of people, and make them curious to learn more.

Structure of the NEMO course:
Part 1: Psychological Safety
General information, teams/leadership, effects on health
Part 2: Bullying and SASH
Case studies, using video’s and interactive NEMO° features


  • Time concerns on assessments and ‘Role play’ sections of course. Implementation will mean more time dedication.
  • Advices to be very aware on putting required safeguarding procedures in place. Certainly, with regards to role-playing and case studies and the impact this can have on (mental) health of participants.
  • The idea is that we provide a definition of bullying and sash, and show people examples by means of case studies. We will use video’s and played out short and simple scenarios in the features the NEMO° platform provides. The idea is to focus on the different roles of people, for example observers. And show people how different options for behavior are available.
  • Strongly advices to keep in mind: “do no harm”. A lot of feelings, triggers can come up while doing these training. Advices to put disclaimers in all sections, provide options for people to take health care. Find out what is ethical, what is legal. Especially in the USA.

3) Sub-group on data collection and harmonization | Data Group

Leader: TBD (volunteers are welcomed to respond)

  • Update the literature and resources list
  • Create a safe data/governance structure
    • Update the COPE° website with a resource database
    • How do we create a data consortium, to start dialogue, sharing ideas and views
  • Follow up about possible interviews amongst IMU members to ask whether there is a need for education with regards to psychological safety and DEIA relating matters.

4) Sub-group on reporting mechanisms and accountability | Rm&A Group

Leader: TBD (volunteers are welcomed to respond)

  • ISM Code and IMO work
    • Focus on responsibility and accountability of flagstates, maritime authorities, companies, etc.
    • Proposal to IMO for statistics.
  • What are the different reporting mechanisms that are used right now?
  • Effect of Pinkwashing/marketing (Global maritime forum)


  • Is there a focus on third parties, like seaman’s missions? (Eva: yes definitely. And everyone is invited to collaborate)
  • Focusing on international as well as regional groups, and available resources, information. ISWAN is been tasked to pull together a list of different places of reporting. Welfare work also involves reporting sometimes.
  • Question: ISWAN is searching for help to put together a list of organizations that are receiving reports of people that work at sea. Including when this is a by-products of giving welfare/emotional support. To get an understanding of what organizations there are, and explore how wide spread the information is. And paint a picture of what is going on.
  • Front line service, seafarer centers, welfare work, are receiving information of cases of bullying and sash. But the difficult thing is the limit in information that is available for people to get help and support. Also the access to this information is a challenge.
  • Found out about helpline of maritime female organization in Germany. Will ask them to forward information to Georgia.
  • Leadership challenge. Advices to find solutions that will be helpful, such as dual leadership, or task people with roles for each group. To make the work accessable and workable for everyone.

Conclusion: We will use all of the above discussion, and previous discussions in the two sub-groups 3 and 4. These two sub-groups can be planned in, and coordinated in the same way as the PS group. By sectioning and tasking people with smaller sections of the work.

5) Maritime Matters Podcast (sub group awareness) | Podcast Group

One episode every 2 week

  • Set up template/look
  • Decide on subjects and topics. Address needs from audience.
  • We are looking for hosts (6 – 8 persons) who would like to run their own show.
  • Set up schedule
  • Marketing and feedback
  • Determine the needs of podcasts. What do people want to hear, and what is needed to raise awareness.

6) Any other Business

Other presentations and invitations

  • We were invited by AMSA who will host the Asia Pacific Head of Maritime Safety Agencies (APHoMSA) forum, from 5 to 9 June 2023 in Sydney
  • Information on the International Symposium of Maritime Health (ISMH16) that is going to take place in ATH 5-8 October 2023 in Athens, Greece. This is a global conference on maritime health. Everyone interested is invited to react/share/connect.
  • Webinar this Friday June 2nd from the Professional Yachting Association (PYA). Diving into the role of flag-states, and providing more information to people. Also discussing bullying and harassment on board of ships and yachts. Getting people off the fear of reporting.
    • Please find the link to join and register HERE

Planning Schedule and Recurrence

Main meetings: around every 8 weeks
Sub-group meetings: around every 4 weeks or more often depending on the urgency.

The next meeting of the main group is planned on Tuesday 18 July 2023 at 11.00 UTC.

List of Members and Participants

The members and participants of the COPE° Working group on Bullying, Psychological Safety and Sexual Assault and Harassment in the Maritime Sector can be found in the Position Paper 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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