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ISWAN - welfare support to seafarers

19 April 2019

The International Seafarers' Welfare and Assistance Network promotes seafarers welfare worldwide and directly serves seafarers by providing a 24 hour helpline - Seafarers Help.


Seafarers are frequently overlooked and forgotten about.  Seafarers face long periods away from family and friends with limited or no communication for weeks on end. Shore leave can be severely restricted, particularly for certain nationalities. Welfare facilities and services both on board and ashore can be a lifeline for seafarers.


ISWAN provides direct welfare services to seafarers. The 24 hour multilingual helpline, Seafarer Help, runs every day of the year and is free for seafarers to call from anywhere in the world. ISWAN also runs an emergency welfare fund for seafarers in dire need, produces health information for seafarers, and provides information on the location of seafarer centres.


ISWAN works to support the welfare of seafarers all over the world. We work in support of organisations and bodies that provide direct welfare services to seafarers. We work to enable the establishment of welfare facilities and services in port and on ships. ISWAN brings together and supports our members to share learning and experiences to improve seafarers' welfare both on board and ashore. In particular, ISWAN works for the implementation of the ILO Maritime Labour Convention 2006. They work with companies, unions, governments, welfare organisations (secular and faith based), and ports for the benefit of seafarers' welfare.


“Maritime welfare organisations are used to dealing with seafarers on cargo and cruise ships. The number of seafarers in the yacht sector has grown to around 35,000, and we need to know more about the challenges which are specific to the superyacht sector. As seafarers on super yachts are covered by the provisions of the ILO Maritime Labour Convention their welfare needs - at sea and ashore - should be better known and provided for,” said Roger Harris, Executive Director of ISWAN.

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