ISWAN Members Meeting

Members of ISWAN met in Venice at the end of May to discuss the past year and plans for the future. The meeting was hosted by the Port of Venice and jointly organised with the Friends of Stella Maris seafarer centre.

The meeting received a report from Roger Harris, the Executive Director on the main activities of ISWAN in 2013/14. Highlights from the report include:

  • ISWAN formally launched in April 2013 and has 12 staff and a turnover of £500,000 per year
  • New board of trustees in place with Per Gullestrup as Chair
  • Profile of ISWAN increased with events in London & New York involving the writer Rose George
  • Appeal for Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines raised over US$110,000
  • The International Seafarers Welfare Awards at the ILO in April were a great success
  • ISWAN gained 10 new member organisations over the year.

Roger Harris also spoke about the challenges facing ISWAN including securing funding for the future and building the membership.

The meeting also received a report on SeafarerHelp, the free 24 hour helpline. In the past year SeafarerHelp handled 1,257 cases involving over 6,400 seafarers. The main reason why seafarers call SeafarerHelp is problems with non-payment of wages, repatriation, and issues with contracts.

Other ISWAN projects discussed included the Training on Board, twinning, and port partnerships.

The meeting discussed developments including the increasing use of credit cards by seafarers and how to implement port levies for welfare.

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