Transport workers to use Yellow Card as proof of vaccination

WHO and ILO form Action Group with global transport bodies to protect workers’ rights and ease supply chain congestion

WHO Director-general Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus And ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said both organisations would form an action group with major transport bodies to ensure freedom of movement for international transport workers.

Tedros said the move would include amending the Yellow Card, a medical passport issued by WHO, to be used by transport workers as proof of vaccination. The commitment by both organisations came after unions and bodies representing road, air and sea workers sounded the alarm on new travel restrictions and the frail global supply chain on transport workers amid Omicron, a “variant of concern” indicated by WHO.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the International Road Transport Union (IRTU), and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) have urgently pleaded with governments not to shut their borders to transport workers.

“It’s really worrying to see last year’s draconian travel restrictions starting to reappear in many countries, especially as millions of transport workers have been making enormous sacrifices for scant recognition for nearly two years,” said Guy Platten, Secretary-General, ICS.

The action group will ensure that existing travel protocols developed by the industry protect transport workers’ rights. The WHO and the ILO also confirmed that the UN Secretary General’s Executive Committee in January 2022 would discuss solutions to issues raised by the transport organisations.

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