The 2021 theme was chosen by the IMO as part of a year of action for seafarers, who play a vital role as key workers for global supply chains but are facing unprecedented hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Seafarers have had to prolong their service on board much beyond their contractual periods, have been prevented from going home and lived with concern for their loved ones at home who, apart to missing their presence and support at home, can also be affected by the pandemic itself. Added to this comes enduring prolonged quarantine periods related to crew changes. In far too many cases seafarers have been denied access to necessary and sometimes urgent medical care ashore, whether Covid-related or not and sadly, some states have repeatedly refused to allow deceased seafarers to come ashore for repatriation. This tragic situation only compounds the sorrow and hardship suffered by next-of-kin at home and crew members on board. This treatment of seafarers, working to keep the world turning, is not just lacking in dignity; but may be in contravention of international law.