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

TUES, 4 APRIL 2023 | 7:00 AM EST

1) Welcome and Introduction

Proposed new members.

There were no objections to the submission of these new members, therefore everyone is very much welcomed to participate and to become a member of the COPE° working group.

New Agenda
Since the group is growing, the need for structure is increasing. That is why we wish to propose the following agenda:

Proposed Agenda for Main COPE WG

  1. New members
  2. Sub-group on psychological safety | PS Group
  3. Sub-group on data collection and harmonization | Data Group
  4. Sub-group on reporting mechanisms and accountability | Rm&A Group
  5. Podcast Maritime Matters (sub group awareness) | Podcast Group
  6. Any other Business
    1. Presentations and invitations
    2. Planning schedule

We invite members to communicate suggestions to this proposed agenda. Either during this meeting, or by email. Any suggested edits or amendments will be discussed in the next meeting of the main group.

To arrange management and structure of the work of the sub-groups, we discussed the basics as described below. Everyone is invited to comment, either during the meeting or at a later stage through email.

We decided that a form will be drafted to allow people to volunteer and subscribe to a certain sub-group.

We will provide information in order to clarify the tasks and role of the group-leaders. That will be shared with members and published on the COPE° website.

2) Sub-group on psychological safety | PS Group

Leader: Jillian Carson-Jackson

  • Psychological safety course NEMO°
    • Course template
    • Competence used at IMO
    • Task people – deadlines
  • Sharing

To keep in mind:

  • Determine what the PS course will cover exactly. Should provide information for all seafarers on the ship, and maritime professionals. Shore based personnel, ISM related people who are working at relevant authorities, etc.
  • Course objectives will clarify information such as audience, anticipated outcomes and be discussed and decided upon.

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

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

One episode every 2 weeks

  • 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. Volunteers are welcomed to respond.
  • Set up schedule
  • Marketing and feedback

To keep in mind:

  • Determine the needs of podcasts: what do people want to hear and what is needed to raise awareness?

6) Any other Business

  • Member shared a recent paper from the seafarers international research center in Cardiff (Link to Paper)
  • Discussions regarding a lack of support that is reported.
    • Reporting of people who feel safe to speak up. Trying to get women seafarers to respond to surveys, to gain feedback. Poor numbers in response, maybe we can help raise it? How can we reach people globally.
    • People need to feel comfortable to speak. Company responses to people who are reporting. Shoreside personnel need to know language as to how to handle, training courses about this?
    • note to be aware of the fact that when you reach out to women only, you might create a gender-violent response. We should reach out to people (not just women).

Presentations and Invitations

  • International Women in Maritime Conference (18 and 19 May 2023)
    • (we did not receive any invites, any ideas are welcomed)
  • 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

Additional information that was shared by Eric Dawicki after the meeting ended:

In order to maintain the original strategy of COPE° to always remain inclusive and ensure an easy sense of self and participation for people and stakeholders , we would like to propose to change the system we been using regarding taking on new members to our group:

  • People and stakeholders who are interested in our group and wish to join meetings, should be welcomed at all times.  Membership to COPE° is open to everyone, but when a new member wants to join a working group, we will review their request and qualify them as wither an observer or an active participant in a working group. Once qualified regarding their membership interests, we shall formally introduce them to a working group warmly, kindly and with full support. This way we maintain the inclusive, open and diverse nature of our group. It also and also prevents exclusion and unnecessary formality/bureaucracy.
  • In the upcoming weeks, we will share information with ‘rules for engagement’, so that when people wish to cooperate and participate further into the work, they will have a basic outline and idea of what is expected.

The Center for Ocean Policy and Economics is currently finalizing these documents, that information will be shared with everyone and provided on the COPE° website as well.

Planning Schedule and Recurrence

We will prepare a spreadsheet with an overview of meetings. With a prospect to plan meetings periodically, so the sub-groups can report back to the main group and share/collect ideas. It should be noted that it covers different time-zones, and that people are able to join several groups.

The spreadsheet COPE WG planner is shared with this meeting minutes. The document is going to be finalized in the upcoming week, and will be provided to you as well.

  • 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 30 May 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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