Seafarers’ grim plight in the pandemic

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By Sam Bateman*

Amid the many consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, thousands of seafarers around the world are now locked onboard their ships with expired contracts and unable to get home. In a normal month, approximately 100,000 seafarers leave their ships and are replaced by others, but travel restrictions imposed by governments, as well as limitations on the availability of international airline flights, have meant that replacement crews cannot get to their ships and relieved crews are unable to get home. There are far-reaching implications of this situation for international trade.

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