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Port welfare partnership programme launched

29 September 2017

The International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) has launched a new International Port Welfare Partnership Programme (IPWP) to support the establishment of welfare boards, as set out under the International Labour Organization (ILO) Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC). The MLC, which lays down minimum working and living standards and conditions for seafarers at sea, states that welfare facilities and services for seafarers should be regularly reviewed to ensure that they are appropriate for their needs.

The programme was launched at a cross-maritime industry event in London during London International Shipping Week 2017, attended by over 90 representatives. The programme is match funded by the ITF Seafarers’ Trust, TK Foundation, Seafarers’ UK and Merchant Navy Welfare Board, and its executive committee includes representatives from unions, shipowners, port authorities, government, funders and voluntary organisation.

Brandt Wagner, from the ILO, explained that the MLC called on states “to promote the development of welfare facilities in designated ports in order to provide all seafarers with access to adequate welfare facilities and services”. 

John Canias, from the ITF, comments that: “ITF member unions are great supporters of those voluntary organisations which provide seafarers’ centres, ship visits, port information and transport. We are constantly trying to improve seafarers’ welfare and, in line with the MLC, are committed to working in partnership with shipowners, port authorities, port owners, flag states and voluntary organisations to help create welfare boards. 

“Since 1981 the ITF Seafarers’ Trust has donated over USD200 million to nearly 3,000 welfare projects.”

For further details of the IPWP go to:


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