Catholic World News

Vatican message calls for respect, protection of seafarers’ rights

July 11, 2016

The Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People recently issued its annual message for “Sea Sunday,” which was commemorated this year on July 10.

“Almost 1,200,000 seafarers of every nationality (many of them from developing countries) on board of 50,000 merchant ships are transporting almost 90% of every kind of cargo,” the pontifical council said in its statement, and these seafarers are exposed to risks to their physical life, psychological well-being, family life, and “human and working dignity.”

“As Apostleship of the Sea we stand at the side of seafarers to reiterate that their human and labor rights must be respected and protected,” the message continued.

Noting “how important and essential are the seafarer profession and the shipping industry for our daily life,” the pontifical council called on bishops of maritime dioceses “to establish and support the Maritime Apostolate as a visible sign of your affectionate attention to those who cannot receive ordinary pastoral care.”

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