Seafarers work in the harshest environment imaginable. Not only do they combat the forces of nature on the worlds oceans, they remain an unseen workforce, spending many months away, and sometimes out of contact from their family and friends. They often work in cramped conditions with little or no access to shore leave and medical attention.
Despite the tough conditions seafarers already endure, there are some companies (shipowners, managers, flag states etc) that would compound this by denying or abusing seafarers’ basic human and trade union rights, ignoring international conventions that govern seafarers working and living conditions on board.
The ITF Seafarers’ Breach of Rights Index seeks to identify:
Action by shipowners, ship managers, flag states or other parties, which warrant inclusion on the ITF Seafarers’ Breach of Rights Index.
Entries on the Index are in the sole discretion of the ITF. When making entries the ITF and will consider the following factors:
a. Actions which violate seafarers' fundamental rights, either individually or collectively. This includes, but is not limited to actual or threatened physical or sexual abuse; non-payment of wages; persistent violation of employment agreement or collective agreement provisions; violation of health and safety standards; sub-standard food and water; sub-standard crew accommodation, and repeated abandonment.
b. Actions which violate seafarers' trade union rights including any actions which seek to prevent or discourage union membership or contact with unions; intimidation of union members or prospective union members (including the use or threatened use of force); and legal, administrative or other actions against any seafarer or their family for participating in industrial action.
c. Persistent attempts to cheat seafarers of their entitlements under applicable laws, collective agreements (including ITF approved agreements) or individual employment contracts
d. Persistent disregard of international standards relating to maritime safety, crew accommodation, and other relevant standards