Human sustainability programme


April 2022

Maritime transport is the backbone of international trade and the global economy, but the human side of this vital industry often goes unnoticed and unappreciated. The nearly two million seafarers and the millions more who work in global supply chains often face harsh working conditions, safety and harassment issues, and mental health challenges. The sector also lacks gender balance and diversity. We want global seaborne trade to be a humanly sustainable industry where everyone can expect to work in a safe environment and be treated with dignity and respect.


The Global Maritime Forum established a human sustainability programme in 2022 in response to the increasing awareness of the industry’s challenges in treating its current workforce properly and appealing to both existing and future generations. The programme was set up to create positive change for seafarers and everyone else employed in the maritime sector. We do this by engaging with senior leaders across the value chain to build ambitious coalitions of the willing and applying a five-step approach to transformational change: scanning, data-collection, co-design solutions, pilot solutions, and setting better standards.


Our flagship human sustainability activity is the All Aboard Alliance, where we bring together member companies and senior leaders to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion within the industry. Our Diversity@Sea programme aims to make conditions at sea more inclusive and attractive. The Neptune Principles focus on mental health, shore leave, crew change, and social connectivity at sea, and the Future Maritime Leaders Network gives ambitious young people across the industry a collective voice.


With the human sustainability programme, we aim to define and implement better global standards for working conditions within and across the maritime supply chain and work towards making the industry's impact on civil societies worldwide positive rather than negative.