A new welcome for visiting seafarers

Associations, Corporate Social Responsibility, Health and Safety, HR, ILO, ITF, Manning - Seafarers and Offshore — By on February 12, 2015 at 11:49 PM
A port welfare committee meets in the UK. Credit ISWAN

A port welfare committee meets in the UK. Credit ISWAN

A new project from the International Seafarers’ Welfare Assistance Network (ISWAN) aims to encourage the formation of port welfare boards around the world to provide a welcome to visiting seafarers. The project, which is sponsored by the ITF Seafarers’ Trust, is being managed by the UK-based Merchant Navy Welfare Board (MNWB), which has launched a website explaining the role of welfare boards – an integral part of the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC).

The MLC requires member states to ensure that seafarers have access to shore-based facilities and services to secure their health and well-being, and recommends that they set up welfare boards to ensure that such facilities and services are appropriate. ISWAN’s global project will provide information, guidance and advice to help set up welfare boards where they do not yet exist, establish minimum standards and promote best practice.

The project says that a successful welfare board should involve the participation of individuals and agencies such as harbourmasters, port agents, port health, seafaring unions, voluntary organisations and the welfare providers, along with local authorities, and should encourage financial support through port levies, donations and other sources.

Kimberly Karlshoej, head of ITF Seafarers’ Trust, said: “The promotion and utilisation of port welfare boards is a critical step in improving services to seafarers during their all too short stays in the world’s ports”.

The International Port Welfare Partnership Project:portwelfare.org

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