It is mandatory for all Recruitment and Placement Services (RPS) providers in India to register with the Directorate General of Shipping (DGS) and obtain a Recruitment and Placement Services Licence (RPSL).

Yet, up to now, there are many unregistered crewing agencies operating in India, resulting to seafarers facing poor working conditions onboard and sea time, to unpaid wages and abandonment.

In an attempt to protect the seafarers, ISWAN along with partners, produced flyers and posters to send the message to Indian seafarers. After the matter took publicity, ISWAN conducted two surveys of Indian seafarers via their social media channels – one before the campaign launch to find out how much seafarers knew about the risks, and the other a year after the launch.

The Network noted that the second survey was completed by a smaller number of seafarers, in comparison to the first one (141 compared to 224 in the pre-campaign survey). However, a bigger proportion of seafarers knew what an RPSL is a year after our campaign, and a larger percentage of seafarers was aware of the various risks associated with signing up with an unregistered agency.

When asked if they remembered seeing any of the campaign promotions, 50% of the seafarers responded positively, whereas 87% of seafarers noted that the adverts helped inform them about the subject.

ISWAN comments

Although the campaign has had a positive impact, there is more work to do to tackle the issues.

In addition, ISWAN’s Regional Director in South Asia, Chirag Bahri, addressed that the campaign has been widely supported by the shipping sector, including the Directorate General of Shipping, Mumbai.

He continued that the campaign will have more fruitful results only by the conduct of workshops in cities with the involvement of maritime stakeholders.

Concluding, ISWAN thanks the Directorate General of Shipping for its support of this campaign, as well as the following campaign partners: the Maritime Association of Shipowners & Shipmanagers (MASSA), the Foreign Ship-owners Representatives and Ship Managers Association (FOSMA), the Indian National Shipowners’ Association (INSA), the Indian Coastal Conference Shipping Association (ICCSA), the Maritime Union of India (MUI), the National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI), the Forward Seamen's Union of India (FSUI) and the Maritime Awareness Program Society (MAPS).