St Kitts and Nevis ratified the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006 on 21 February 2012. Seven more countries are required before the convention is fully ratified. It is important for countries to ratify the convention as soon as possible so it can be implemented.

An advocacy group, the Seafarers International Action Center, has called on the Government of the Philippines to ratify the Maritime Labour Convention (2006). The group has collected over 6,000 signatures for a petition that they plan to hand to the government.

The Philippines supplies over 250,000 of the world's seafarers. Twenty three countries have now ratified the MLC - only a further seven are required before the MLC is fully ratified. It will then take a further year for the convention to be implemented.

The International Committee on Seafarers' Welfare (ICSW) has today launched a NEW ONLINE TOOLKIT on seafarers' welfare. The new toolkit is aimed at all organisations and individuals involved with seafarers' welfare around the world.

The toolkit comprises of a set of tools on National Welfare Boards, port welfare committees, and fundraising for seafarers' welfare. Additional content on seafarers' welfare and cruise ships, running successful seafarer centres, and welfare on board will follow in the new few months.

A report published today by the International Committee on Seafarers’ Welfare (ICSW) has found that seafarers’ access to the latest communications technology is taking a back seat because of high investment costs and ports’ concerns about security. Developments in New Technology & Implications for Seafarers’ Welfare was commissioned by ICSW in order to learn more about how port-wide WiFi and WiMAX are helping seafarers to maintain closer contact with home, which is one of the top welfare concerns of seafarers.

The Stella Maris Seafarers’ Centre in Brisbane is well on the way to planning for the future. With a three way partnership between the Australian Mariners’ Welfare Society, the National Office of the Apostleship of the Sea and the Stella Maris Brisbane Committee, who raised over $20,000.00 to install solar panels.The solar panels will generate 5kWh of power every hour during day light and reduce the ever increasing overheads of running a Seafarers’ Centre. With the increasing prices of electricity, the solar panels will ensure the long term electricity costs are covered in Stella Maris Brisbane for seafarers and will be better for the environment.The savings on electricity will give a much needed revenue boost to the Centre enabling the Centre to provide more facilities to aid seafarers. We wish to thank the Australian Mariners’ Society and the National Office of the Apostleship of the Sea for their support in providing this new innovative gain for seafarers.

The International Committee on Seafarers’ Welfare is organising a one day seminar on Seafarers’ Welfare at the Danish Shipowners Association in Copenhagen on Thursday 14 April.

The seminar will look at the current issues and problems facing seafarers’ welfare. These include the welfare of seafarers and their families affected by piracy, communications at sea and in port for seafarers, and the using the Maritime Labour Convention to enhance seafarers’ welfare.

Ship owners and seafarers are calling on ‘people power’ to push their governments to act now and show the political will to resolve the growing Somali piracy crisis before it strangles world trade and before more innocent seafarers are tortured and murdered.

The SOS Save Our Seafarers campaign, launched today by BIMCO, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the International Shipping Federation (ISF), Intercargo, INTERTANKO and the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF), is aimed at encouraging millions of people around the world to heap pressure on their national Governments to crack down on piracy. They are calling on YOUR help.