Maryanne Adams, who works for the Marshall Islands Registry, raised over £1350 for ISWAN. Maryanne ran the Brighton marathon in the UK and completed the course in under six and half hours. Maryanne said it was tough going although she enjoyed it. Maryanne visited the ISWAN where Roger Harris, the Executive Director, thanked her for her efforts. Roger said "We are deeply grateful for Maryanne's amazing feat and raising so much for the welfare of seafarers. This is the first time someone has run a marathon to fundraise for ISWAN."

Maryanne's fundraising page is still open at Donations can be made by credit card and by mobile phone text.

We still need to raise funds to run our 24 helpline for seafarers, SeafarerHelp.

If you would like to fundraise for ISWAN please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Dr Olivia Swift of Greenwich Maritime Institute, talks about Port Levies and Seafarers' Welfare. Dr Swift's report can be downloaded from here

The Port of Kandla has increased its voluntary levy for seafarers' welfare by 50% from INR 1000 (US$16.50) to INR 1500 (US$25.00) per ship visit. The funds raised by the levy pays for the running of the newly opened seafarers centre at Old Kandla along with the existing centre in New Kandla. The levy was agreed by the Kandla Seafarers Welfare Association and the Kandla Port Steamship Agents Association.

The Port of Kandla won the Port of the Year Award in the 2012 International Seafarers' Welfare Awards. As funding for seafarers' welfare becomes harder to obtain, ISWAN warmly welcomes the decision by the port to increase the voluntary levy. Ports throughout the world should follow Kandla's example.

More information on port levies on seafarers' welfare can be found here.

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Roger Harris, Executive Director of ISWAN, talks about the challenges facing seafarers and seafarers' welfare


Crewtoo, the social networking site for seafarers, is conducting a salary survey for seafarers. If you are a seafarer, you can complete the short survey by clicking here.

You can visit Crewtoo here.

The winners of the 2014 International Seafarers' Welfare Awards were announced on Monday 7 April during a high profile ceremony hosted by Secretary General of the International Labour Organisation, Mr Guy Ryder at the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Geneva, Switzerland.

The winners are:
• Judges Special Award : Ms Apinya Tajit, Thailand
• Shipping Company of the Year: Wallem Ship Management
• Port of the Year: Port of Antwerp, Belgium
• Seafarer Centre of the Year: Flying Angel Club, Fremantle, Australia
• Dr Dierk Lindemann Welfare Personality of the Year Award: Fr Paul Noel, Durban, South Africa

The Welfare personality of the Year Award is named after Dr Dierk Lindemann who sadly passed away on 17 March 2014. Dr Lindemann served as the Shipowner's Group spokesperson at the ILO and took a lead role in getting the Maritime Labour Convention adopted.

Welcoming participants at the award ceremony, ILO Director-General Guy Ryder, said the awards represented the "recognition of people who do extraordinary work and are an encouragement to make further efforts for the welfare of seafarers. These are really important objectives and the ILO is pleased to play a role in this ceremony."

"Working at sea in isolated circumstances can and does leave seafarers highly vulnerable," Mr. Ryder said. "These realities should encourage all of us to redouble our efforts to ensure the welfare of those 1.5 million seafarers around the world."

Commenting on the evening Roger Harris, ISWAN Executive Director, said: "The awards recognise excellent achievement and they inspire others to do more for the welfare of seafarers. We are particularly pleased that the awards are being held at the ILO with the Maritime Labour Convention eight months in force."

This year's judges were Mr Masamichi Morooka President of the International Shipping Federation and International Chamber of Shipping, Mr Steve Cotton, Acting General Secretary of the International Transport Workers' Federation, Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, Director of the International Labour Standards Department, International Labour Organisation and Fr Bruno Ciceri, Chairman of the International Christian Maritime Association.

Photos of the awards can be viewed here.

The awards are generously funded by the ITF Seafarers' Trust. The awards are also supported & endorsed by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), International Shipping Federation (ISF), and the Intentional Christian Maritime Association (ICMA). International Shipping Federation (ISF) is sponsoring the Welfare Personality of the Year Award and Wrist Ship Supply is sponsoring Seafarer Centre of the Year Awards. Crewtoo is the media sponsor of the awards.

Further information about the awards can be found at

Videos of two of the award winners


Video of Rose George's talk at Seafarers and International House in New York on Sunday 16 March. The event was organised by SIH, NAMMA, & ISWAN and sponsored by Crewtoo.


Cruise ship crews are different from those on other merchant ships. For a start there are far more seafarers on a cruise ship. Also, catering and 'hotel' staff on cruise ships are defined as seafarers and many of these are women. The services and facilities aimed at seafarers on cruise ships need to be adapted to meet their needs. With the growth of the cruise ship sector the seminar will be looking at the welfare needs of seafarers aboard these vessels and how they can be met, both on board and in port.

The venue of the seminar is : Logistics Academy, Santa Marta Fabbricato 16, 30123 Venice, Italy (next to the Port Authority offices).

There will be speakers and participants from seafarer welfare organisations, shipping companies, ports, and maritime trade unions. The seminar is open to organisations and individuals interested in the welfare of seafarers. The seminar will cost 75 euros (50 euros for ISWAN Members).

To book see here.

For further details and information please contact ISWAN at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">


9.30 Chair’s opening remarks – Per Gullestrup, Chairman of ISWAN & Partner, Clipper Group

9.45 Welcome from Port of Venice – speaker from Port of Venice.

10.15 Welfare on board cruise ships – case studies from Costa & MSC (speakers from Costa & MSC invited)

  • Why the welfare of crews is important for cruise shipping companies
  • What practical steps companies take to ensure the welfare of their crews

11.15 Coffee

11.30 Challenges for seafarers working on cruise ships – Fabrizio Barcellona, International Transport Workers Federation

12.15 Panel discussion

12.30 Lunch

13.15 The challenges for welfare organisations working with seafarers on cruise ships – in port and onboard – Fr Giacomo Martino ICMA & Fr Roger Stone Apostleship of the Sea.

14.00 Working with seafarers from cruise ships – case study from Friends of Stella Maris Seafarers Centre, Venice

14.30 Panel discussion

14.45 Sum up & next steps – Roger Harris, Executive Director, ISWAN

15.00 Port Visit

See the new ISWAN short videos. Thanks to Noah Leon & Jason Zuidema of NAMMA.

Per Gullestrup, the new Chairman of ISWAN, talks about the welfare of seafarers.

Roger Harris, Executive Director of ISWAN, talks about the work of ISWAN.

Roger Harris, Executive Director of ISWAN, explains the importance of port levies for seafarers welfare


This article first appeared on the ILO website and we reproduce it with kind permission of the ILO.

Six months in force, eight years in the making: The ILO Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 is now in full sail.

Interview with Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, Director, ILO International Labour Standards Department, ILO, Geneva

In the six months since the ILO's historic Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 came into force, the impact of this comprehensive international legal standard across the globe has accelerated rapidly. As of February, there have been 56 ratifications by ILO Member States representing more than 80 percent of the world's gross tonnage of shipping. Today, well over a million seafarers and thousands of ship owners are covered by a single, comprehensive labour standard for this industry that is so essential to international trade.

Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, Director of the ILO's International Labour Standards Department, assesses the current state of the Convention and its implementation and what it means for international labour law and world trade.

ILO News: What is the current state in the implementation of the MLC, 2006?

CDH: Today, we are marking not one, but two watersheds. Along with the six-month anniversary of its coming into force for the first 30 countries that have ratified it, yesterday marked the eight year anniversary of its adoption on 23 February 2006. Even then the MLC, 2006 was described as historic. It is very rare that such a comprehensive and novel ILO Convention has been adopted without disagreement. The last eight years have been very busy as the ILO followed a five-year strategic plan designed to help ensure widespread ratification combined with effective national implementation to build national capacity to implement the Convention. We have seen a rapidly increasing pace of ratifications by the countries representing the majority of the world's shipping tonnage, along with increasing high level of international interest and support. The convergence of interests on the part of the governments, ship owners and seafarers that launched this Convention continues to drive its success. In my view, this level of cooperation is what makes this Convention the most innovative of the ILO's Conventions.

ILO News: What are some of the milestones you've seen since the Convention came into force on 20 August 2013?

CDH: In addition to the Guidelines that the ILO adopted between 2006 and 2013 explaining the Convention and its implementation in connection with flag State and port State ship inspections and medical examinations as well as guidance regarding model provisions for legal implementation, an ILO tripartite meeting of experts has also recently adopted ground-breaking guidelines for the training of ships' cooks, covering everything from training and responsibilities of ships cooks to food handling, provision of food without charge to seafarers as well as minimum standards for the amount and quality of food and drinking water on board ships. Also, the international representative organizations for seafarers and for ship owners, the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) and the International Shipping Federation (ISF), respectively, have issued their own important guidelines on implementing the MLC, 2006 and what it means for ship owners and seafarers. Social networks have also sprung up, providing instant sharing of information on issues related to the Convention. And of course, inspections are underway, and actions are being taken in many ports to make sure the MLC, 2006's provisions are being respected, and that action is then taken on board ships to correct problems.

ILO News: What else has been done as part of the implementation process, both before and after the Convention came into force?

CDH: In response to the anticipated huge increase in the workload of inspecting and certifying an estimated 40,000 ships, the ILO has literally created a "battalion" of inspectors through training mainly through the Maritime Labour Academy at the International Training Centre in Turin. The ILO has also helped Member States build capacity to carry out the necessary legal work, and created a dedicated MLC, 2006 website, with many tools and resources, including a database for various national reports and other information that is to be submitted to the ILO's Director General. Activities have also been undertaken in the maritime sector regarding insurance to meet some of key requirements under the MLC, 2006.

ILO News: How widespread has ratification been, and are there any remaining gaps that need to be filled?

CDH: Indeed, while we can celebrate the rapidity and range of ratifications, we still have some regional gaps. It would be very good to see more ratifications from the Asia region, one of the rapidly growing economic regions and a major source of the worlds' seafaring work force. EU countries that have not yet ratified will soon do so, largely as a result of legal instruments adopted following EU social partner initiatives. The other regions and areas where it would be important to see more ratification are the Middle East countries, the countries of the Indian Ocean region and also a big gap at present is in Latin America.

ILO News: What impact do you see the Convention having on world trade?

CDH: The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development review in 2013 called maritime transport "the backbone of international trade and the global economy." The UNCTAD Maritime Review in 2013 said around 80 per cent of global trade by volume and more than 70 per cent of global trade by value are carried by sea and are handled by ports worldwide. The report notes that one of the most important legal developments was the entry into force of the MLC, 2006. This reflects the importance of the MLC, 2006, not only as a legal standard for seafarers and ship owners, but to the smooth functioning of the global economy. Seafarers keep the wheels of the economy turning. What is more, it also underscores the far-reaching impact of seafarers and ship owners on the goods, from energy to food that we take for granted in our daily lives. Although sometimes not usually described as world trade, I would be remiss if I did not also note the increasingly important economic impact of the cruise industry and commercial yachting. These sectors of the maritime industry also depend on and employ many of the world's seafarers.

ILO News: Have you seen any problems in the implementation of the Convention?

CDH: We could expect a year or two of some uncertainty and possible confusion especially in connection with flag Sate inspections and port State control due to the novelty of the MLC, 2006 regime. However, much of this has been resolved or clarified with remarkable efficiency in many cases. This is due to the fact that a great effort has been made to make sure that the most important actors in the sector have been accurately informed about what the Convention does and does not address.

ILO News: What is the ILO's role in implementing the Convention?

CDH: The ILO's main role now regarding implementation will come into play when the national legal reports under Article 22 of the ILO's Constitution are submitted to the ILO, the year after entry into force for each country. These reports will be reviewed by the ILO's supervisory system.

ILO News: In April, the first meeting of the Special Tripartite Committee established under the MLC, 2006 will be held. What's on the agenda and why is this so important?

CDH: This important committee, the "MLC Committee", has a key role to play in ensuring that the Code of the MLC, 2006, the part that contains the more technical provisions, remains up to date and meet the needs of the maritime sector. It will meet on 7-11 April 2014 to consider two proposals for amendments – that is, changes, to the Code of the MLC, 2006. These are provisions to more clearly deal with the liability of ship owners with respect to compensation for claims for death, personal injury and abandonment of seafarers. These matters were extensively discussed for a decade by a tripartite ILO/IMO working group. This first meeting of the MLC Committee will underscore one of the ground breaking provisions of the MLC, 2006 that allows it to be updated easily to address the changing needs of seafarers and the shipping industry. This flexibility and adaptability is unique in the ILO standards system, and I believe is one of the great strengths of the MLC, 2006.

ILO News: What does this mean in the larger context of the ILO's supervisory mechanisms for labour standards?

CDH: I believe that in many respects the MLC, 2006 can serve as what I will call a "global pilot project" for exploring innovative approaches to implement the concept of decent work for transnational workers and employers. If we can all agree through tripartite dialogue and international cooperation on a standard that creates decent employment and a level playing field in a sector as complex as maritime, we should be able to do this almost anywhere. As someone who has devoted an entire lifetime of work to labour standards, I can only hope that this dialogue between government, employers and workers and other actors will spark similar initiatives in other sectors or more generally.