Who would doubt that the world cares about seafarers? They’ve given more teeth to ILO Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, with new amendments aimed at protecting abandoned seafarers and providing financial security for compensation in cases of death and long-term disability. They recently handed out the prestigious 2014 Seafarers’ Welfare Awards. And come the 25th of June, maritime folks will once again celebrate, with catchy slogans and pompous speeches, the Day of the Seafarer.

Yes, many hearts are bleeding for the seafarers – the International Labour Organization, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), seafarer charities, maritime NGOs, union officials, maritime bureaucrats, shipowners, manning agents, maritime school owners, artists, novelists and even – occasionally at least – the maritime press. So why are the lads still exploited and treated like scum?

It’s a question many seafarers are asking and will probably continue to ask for generations to come. ~Barista Uno


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