Category Archives: Seafarers’ Welfare

Art and thoughts of abandoned crews

The International Labor Organization’s (ILO) database of abandoned crews makes for some interesting reading. However, it paints a rather incomplete picture. What hardships and anguish do mariners suffer when they are left by shipowners to fend for themselves, unpaid and often without provisions? I hope the following works of art, together with my ruminations on the subject, will give readers […]

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Abandoned crews: all’s well that ends well?

The press release issued by the ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) last 13th of March was understandably jubilant: 17 crew members of the Panama-flagged Sea Honest had all finally returned home. The Indian and Turkish seamen were abandoned in Algeria, unpaid and without provisions, in July 2016. The nightmare is over. Justice has been done, according to the ITF. I […]

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Cadets in servitude and human rights

It tells a lot about values in Manila’s manning sector. Maritime cadets are made to work as unpaid office help or flunkeys, and people see nothing wrong with it. Yet, one has to be callous and ignorant not to see that the serve-for-sail practice demeans cadets and is a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Total Share: 2001100

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The anomaly of the Day of the Seafarer

Call me a grinch, a spoilsport. But I have never felt the urge to observe the Day of the Seafarer (25th of June). It’s not just the empty slogans and tributes from the very people who have commodified seamen that dampen my mood. I am dismayed by the mere fact that the annual celebrations are spearheaded by the International Maritime […]

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Shortfall of respect for ship officers

We’ve always thought of ship officers as belonging to an elite class. So it perturbs us whenever we see Filipino captains or chief engineers who report to their manning agencies in Manila treated gruffly, if not rudely, by office security guards. Shouldn’t management impose a policy of utmost courtesy to all visitors, especially ship officers? Total Share: 10522100

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7 unsubtle ways to exploit seafarers

The folks who applauded the coming into force of ILO Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, in August 2013 can stop applauding. The so-called “bill of rights” for seafarers has not put an end to their exploitation. Maritime vultures are still preying upon the men and women who toil at sea — bleeding them white and robbing them of their humanity. Total […]

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