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

TUES, SEPTEMBER 6, 2022 | 7:00 AM EST

1) Welcome and Introduction

New members welcomed to the group.

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 will have a meeting on: Tuesday 13 September at 11.00 UTC. Eva will send Jillian the latest version of the documents before the weekend.
  • 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, Jillian will be sharing an ADDI model for course design, and the microlearning template she used for NEMO° VTS Essentials course.

Harm van der Ende suggested to test the IMO PSSR model course on the students of MIWB. We could also consider if students from the Master research program could participate in developing the course or provide feedback.

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

  • The sub-group on ‘Data Collection, Output and Harmonization’ will have the first meeting in September. Proposed date: 15 September at 15.00 UTC.
  • Terms of reference, resource documents and other information can be found in the Teams group folder here.
  •  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
  • 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 of different channels. The working group will be open to hear the voice of the industry and take information into consideration.

Video and Social Media

  • Patti and Eva shared the idea about making a podcast with episodes on different kinds of topics realting to psychological safety, mental health, etc. to draw a bigger picture, different pieces of this puzzle can be discussed with expert duos of this working group. People are hereby invited to join and participate. Episodes should be short and to the point, 10-15 minutes.
  • Pam, Harry and the Saudi Arabia team are working on writing a ‘position paper’, that we can publish to several maritime outlets. To inform what we are doing, to create awareness. Facilitating change.
  • 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.
  • Pam proposed to create a video about our group in order to highlight our areas of expertise: what does it mean to be an ‘Agent of change’. Show that we have a diverse group of people working on this topic. Highlight best practices and positive actions.

Action: Members are requested to share the logo of their organization/company or to share their names, so this can be shared for exposure purposes.

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

Sabrina received feedback from the IMHA Executive Committee, which was shared with the group by email. And asked what further work might be needed as the link between port and ships.

The group shared stories, experiences, and insights around the topic regarding:

Seafarer welfare support and network in ports, what is the role of different organizations, authorities. And what is the link between organizations. There should be continuity and support, procedures and reporting mechanisms that are in place. People in ports sometimes don’t know what to do to help victims of SASH (or don’t care). Inconsistency makes it unsafe for victims.
Involve men to participate in the process of behavioral changes and bigger awareness and understanding. Using the perspective from of all people involved, to achieve more consciousness.

Reporting or formal complaint is also an issue – what is the root of this behavior/decision?
Being a victim and a minority, having coping mechanisms. Feeling fear influences decisions and behaviours. Discussed the importance of allyship and (senior) leadership. Education is important. Awareness that certain behavior is hurtful or harming someone else. Cultural differences.

  • Proposal to have a separate meeting about reporting mechanisms. Develop ideas, brainstorming sessions. Meeting date/time will be discussed in due time.
  • Eva will see if we can cut a video/podcast from this recording, since valuable insights and discussions were shared.

3) Any other business

Members of the working group will be participating and talking about the work of our group, in these upcoming conferences:

  • SHIPPINGInsight to be held from October 11-13th in Stamford, CT. In person meeting.
  • Public Health Congress on Maritime Transport and Ports 2022 to be held on 21 and 22 October in Athens. Hybrid meeting. An Abstract was submitted, on the work of this working group: “Psychological safety, bullying, sexual assault and harassment in the maritime sector”. A copy was shared in Teams.
  • Maritime SheEO to be held in Mumbai on November 16th, 2022. Hybrid meeting.

4) Next Meeting

Proposed future meeting days:
The next meetings of the COPE° Working group (main group):

  • Tuesday 20 September 2022 at 11.00 UTC
  • Tuesday 11 October 2022 at 11.00 UTC
  • Tuesday 25 October 2022 at 11.00 UTC
    (MSC106 starts 31 October)

The next meeting of the sub-working group on Sub-Group on IMO Model Course 2.21 PSSR:

  • Tuesday 13 September, 11.00 UTC.

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

  • [Proposed date:] 15 September at 15.00 UTC.
    (Meeting invite link will be share by email, once date/time is confirmed with group members.)

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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