Read about organisations who have signed the Declaration
The I Exist, Too Declaration (2023)
Kurt Inge Angell
President of the Norweigan Seafarers Union
Why is protecting the human rights of LGBTQI+ people important within the maritime industry?
The maritime industry has always had a very macho image. It has traditionally been a very heteronormative, male dominated world and seen as only suitable for a very narrowly defined group of people. A recent member survey we undertook showed that minorities in the industry were much more likely to suffer bullying and harassment at work. As a union, we are dedicated to protecting all our seafarers so they can enjoy their work with dignity and without fear.
What is the significance of the I Exist, Too Declaration for your organisation?
The #IExistToo declaration is a way for us to show our support for all our LGBTQI+ members and their families. The Norwegian Seafarers Union is proud to be able to join our brothers and sisters in this public statement to say that our industry is for everyone. We will fight inequality wherever we find it and we celebrate the important contribution that LGBTQI+ seafarers have made to the maritime industry throughout the world.
Why did your organisation sign it?
The Norwegian Seafarers Union is dedicated to a fair and equal maritime industry. A healthy maritime industry is one with a diverse workforce who can enjoy a successful career free from all forms of discrimination. We hope that by adding our name to this declaration it will encourage others to do the same and to send the message that everybody is welcome in our industry.
What impact has it had on your organisation so far?
We have embedded equality and diversity in the national programme of work for our union. This was adopted at our last congress in 2022. Signing the #IExistToo declaration is a concrete step we have taken in making this a reality. We look forward to realising these aims in our activities going forward.