10 Kenyan seafarers who had travelled to Pemba, Mozambique through Tanzania in August 2019, in order to work on the EU-bound vessel MV Nina were recently rescued by the ITF. The seafarers arrived in Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday, January 7, prior to traveling home to Mombasa.
abandonment of seafarers
As ISWAN’s Regional Programme provides support to seafarers and their families in South and South East Asia and Nigeria, it now provides support to the crew that was arrested by the Nigerian Navy for illegal bunkering, through their time in prison, as well as after their release.
The Maritime Law to be implemented by the UAE, aims to protect abandoned seafarers, extinguish ‘ghost ships’ in its waters and allow 100% foreign ownership of maritime companies. The maritime law will come into force by early next year.
The ITF continued its collaboration with the Government of the United Arab Emirates, during a meeting in Dubai. ITF and UAE discussed the successful cooperation on helping seafarers abandoned in UAE waters. The partners talked abandoned seafarers, discussed future work and assessed the ITF-UAE memorandum of understanding (MOU).
Human Rights at Sea published a podcast made by Second Engineer Vikas Mishra, abandoned on the UAE-flagged MV Tamim Aldar. The engineer has been abandoned for 33 months. The chief engineer discussed the problem of lacking tube and bunkers, meaning that the generators weren’t able to run for more than an hour a day, while the temperatures in the area were currently 40+ degrees Centigrade.
ITF reports that the 12 seafarers onboard Qaaswa have been sent home, after 13 months marooned off the Port of Sfax. They had been left abandoned off the Tunisian coast with no wages, food and fuel. The 12 crewmembers flew home to India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Myanmar on May 31, with thousands of dollars in unpaid wages, with overall USD 130,952, for the eight months that they were owed.
Human Rights at Sea highlighted that the remaining abandoned Indian seafarers are trying to negotiate their salaries, keeping in mind that their two vessels have been arrested, and most seafarers were in such a desperate situation that they accepted the company’s offer without further negotiation.
In 2018, ISWAN launched a campaign to alert the shipping industry on the issue of unregistered crewing agencies in India; Now, the Network presents the campaign’s results and what follows next. 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.
The first version of the inaugural ‘Geneva Declaration on Human Rights at Sea’ is published by Human Rights at Sea after the initial drafting session was held in Switzerland on 20-21 March 2019 at the Graduate Instiute of International and Development Studies, Geneva.
ISWAN, in partnership with InterManager, ICS, ICMA and ITF, issued a new booklet, entitled ‘Arrested and Detained Vessels, and Abandoned Seafarers’, providing guidance to welfare organisations dealing with incidents of seafarers being abandoned and vessels being arrested or detained.
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