Specifically, the ITF Latin American Contact Network follows the launch of the Arab World network launched in January 2017 to develop a stronger structure of union contacts to handle calls for help and the coordination of cases where seafarers face exploitation at the hands of unscrupulous shipowners.

Those representing the ITF were unions in Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Peru and Uruguay participated in a two-day training course over April 4-5 on seafarers’ labour rights under the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), ITF Agreements and the Flag of Convenience (FoC) system, and the role of the ITF Inspectorate in protecting seafarers’ working and living conditions.

The network will support ITF's capacity to enforce standards for employment conditions in the Latin American region and ensure that shipowners are in line with their obligations to provide decent paying, working and living conditions onboard.

ITF Inspectorate Coordinator Steve Trowsdale commented

Our goal is to increase our capacity to provide credible support to seafarers who request assistance in these countries and also to assist with organising and intelligence gathering for all ITF maritime campaigns.

He concluded that across Latin America seafarers and dockers have been subject to attacks on their rights to safe and decent work.

ITF will mobilise this network to respond to any worker under threat.