The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) expressed its opposition, within a statement, to the decision of BHP to fire Australian crew from two vessels that carried iron ore from Port Hedland in Western Australia to steelworks in Port Kembla and to China.
abandonment of seafarers
British charity Apostleship of the Sea issued their Life at Sea report detailing cases they have encountered while providing support to seafarers around the world in 2017-2018. These stories, summarizing the eight challenges that crews of today have to face, aim to demonstrate that, by working in partnership, we can all improve the lives of seafarers and fishermen around the world.
British human rights charity ‘Justice Upheld’ has started a petition for 40 seafarers from India, Sudan, Tanzania, Eritrea and Ethiopia, who have been deliberately abandoned at sea on ships owned by an UAE-based shipping company for over 27 months without pay.
Human Rights at Sea presented a case of 40 seafarers who are abandoned in difficult conditions in the UAE. The seafarers suffer from physical and mental health issues, while their salaries are outstanding for more than a year.
Human rights at sea gains significant attention of the maritime community. Due to its diversified identity, shipping constitutes a friendly field for human rights abuses, with human trafficking, illegal migration, slavery and abuse in fishing sector and even the unsafe working conditions in many Southeast Asian ship recycling facilities being among the key areas of concern.
The Indian Directorate General of Shipping (DGS) issued a circular informing that three ships and their related owners and recruiting agencies have been blacklisted over abandoning and taking no action for the Indian seafarers who have been stranded in Iran for the last 12 months.
The Indian-flagged offshore support vessel ‘Malaviya Twenty’ has set sail after being stranded for over two years in UK, due to legal implications. The vessel was detained by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency in June 2016 in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, over unpaid port fees and crew wages.
British charity Human Rights at Sea announced the successful repatriation of an Ethiopian Chief Officer who was abandoned on Kish Island, Iran, ‘after a direct, but polite intervention by the charity’. The Chief Officer was also owed outstanding wages which have now been paid in full.
One year has passed since the fatal collision of the Handymax bulk carrier ‘Royal Arsenal’ with the diving support vessel ‘Al Misbar’, and her crew remain under detention at Umm Qasr, Iraq. After the accident, the ship returned to Umm Qasr for investigation, where she has been stuck since then along with 22 crew.
Following the joint efforts of the ITF, the MTWTU, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, as well as lawyers, seafarers’ relatives and other parties concerned, 57 Ukrainian seafarers returned back home in June and July of 2018, after being stranded in abandoned vessels for months.
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