Maritime News

Indian seafarers warned about unregistered agencies

26 January 2018

The International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN), in association with the Indian shipping industry and maritime unions, is launching a campaign to discourage Indian seafarers from signing up with crewing agencies that have not registered with India’s Directorate General of Shipping (DGS).
ISWAN points out that thousands of Indian seafarers join merchant shipping through unregistered crewing agencies, and warns that: “Many of them have been left stranded outside India or not been paid their wages.” As well as the financial risk to seafarers and their families, some recruits have even ended up working on ships carrying illegal cargo and then found themselves in prison.
A recent survey by ISWAN, which drew responses from over 200 Indian seafarers, revealed that although around 90 percent of respondents knew what a registered agency was, 13 percent admitted they had signed up with an unregistered crewing agency in the past, and reported problems such as delayed or unpaid salaries. Nearly a third did not realise that they would risk abandonment or even their entire career if they used an unregistered agency.
Using the slogan “Job-seeking seafarers – BE AWARE!”, ISWAN is now issuing flyers and posters and using social media to discourage Indian seafarers from signing up with unregistered crewing agencies and raise awareness of the risks they could face. The DGS is backing the campaign and has promoted it to maritime training institutes, manning agents and other relevant organisations. The DGS website publishes the full list of registered Indian agencies at:
ISWAN’s campaign partners include: the Maritime Association of Ship Owners & Ship Managers (MASSA), the Foreign Ship-owners Representatives and Ship Managers Association (FOSMA), the Indian National Shipowners’ Association (INSA), the Indian Coastal Conference Shipping Association (ICCSA), the Maritime Union of India (MUI), the National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI), the Forward Seamen's Union of India (FSUI) and the Maritime Awareness Program Society (MAPS).
ISWAN will conduct a follow-up survey to gauge the impact of the campaign and review areas for any future work.

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