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Links to Other Useful Maritime Welfare Organisations
ISWAN - International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network
ISWAN funds and sponsors SeafarerHelp which is a helpline for seafarers who find themselves in a difficult situation or require support or assistance. They offer a free and confidential service. Whether it's dealing with bullying, un-paid wages, poor working/living conditions or just someone to talk to SeafarerHelp is completely free and confidential for all seafarers and their families around the world. It is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and in all the main languages spoken by Seafarers including Russian, Tagalog and Hindi.
As well as being available to help seafarers, SeafarerHelp also provides assistance to other maritime agencies by working alongside them to help resolve the issues. The service was founded in the year 2000 by representatives from seafarer charities, trade unions and shipping employers in the UK. It operates from London and is governed by a voluntary board of Trustees.
For more information visit their website at www.seafarerhelp.org
SFUK - Seafarers UK
Seafarers UK is the new name for King George’s Fund for Sailors, which has been helping seafarers since 1917. It is an umbrella organisation that awards grants to other maritime charities.
They also give grants to charities that help seafarers’ families, including widows and children.
For more information visit their website at www.seafarers-uk.org
ILO - The International Labour Organization
The International Labour Organization (ILO) is devoted to advancing opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity. Its main aims are to promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue in handling work-related issues. In promoting social justice and internationally recognised human and labour rights, the organisation continues to pursue its founding mission that labour peace is essential to prosperity.
Today, the ILO helps advance the creation of decent jobs and the kinds of economic and working conditions that give working people and business people a stake in lasting peace, prosperity and progress. The ILO is the global body responsible for drawing up and overseeing international labour standards. Working with its Member States, the ILO seeks to ensure that labour standards are respected in practice as well as principle.
For more information visit their website at www.ilo.org
ITF - International Transport Workers' Federation
The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) is an international trade union federation of transport workers' unions. Any independent trade union with members in the transport industry is eligible for membership of the ITF. Six hundred and fifty four unions representing 4,500,000 transport workers in 148 countries are members of the ITF. It is one of several Global Federation Unions allied with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).
Although the range of ITF activities is very wide, they can be best summed up under three key headings: Representation, Information, Practical solidarity. The ITF has been helping seafarers since 1896 and today represents the interests of seafarers worldwide, of whom over 600,000 are members of ITF affiliated unions. The ITF is working to improve conditions for seafarers of all nationalities and to ensure adequate regulation of the shipping industry to protect the interests and rights of the workers.
For more information visit their website at www.itfglobal.org
MCA - The Marine and Coastguard Agency
The MCA is responsible for safety at sea on behalf of the British government. Its role includes co-ordinating search and rescue at sea and ensuring that all ships which enter British waters meet national and international safety regulations.
When a ship enters a British port, the captain is obliged to allow MCA inspectors to board. Each month, the MCA receives an average of nine reports of significant breaches of maritime legislation. If on inspection, the MCA finds that a ship fails to meet international safety standards, it can be put under arrest. For the crew, arrest of the ship can be disaster: detained in a foreign port with no right to come ashore and inadequate provisions.
For more information visit their website at www.mcga.gov.uk
ICMA - International Christian Maritime Association
The International Christian Maritime Association (ICMA) is a free association of 27 Christian non-profit organisations engaged in welfare work for seafarers which include those working on merchant, fishing and passenger vessels. These 27 organisations represent different Christian Churches and Christian communities. Each member keeps his independence and autonomy. ICMA was founded in 1969 to encourage ecumenical collaboration and mutual assistance between these different organizations on the local port level, but on the national and international level as well. In a fragmented and divided society, it is ICMA ’s mission to promote unity, peace and tolerance.
For more information visit their website at www.icma.as