The International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) has addressed the risks posed to Indian seafarers who sign up to unlicensed crewing agencies by releasing a new video.
The video entitled Unregistered crewing agencies: A risk to Indian seafarers has been released as part of ISWAN’s campaign against unregistered crewing agencies in India, and features stories of a number of Indian seafarers who were deceived by fraudulent crewing agencies.
“These agencies pose a number of serious risks to seafarers – abandonment on vessels outside India, unpaid wages, prison time from working on board ships carrying illegal cargo, and sea time not counted by the Directorate General of Shipping,” ISWAN said in a release.
According to ISWAN, the Indian government has cancelled a number of licences of non-complying agencies and launched an e-migrate system, which has helped to reduce the number of seafarers leaving the country through such agencies. However, some registered manning agents have been found to have links with illicit agents.
“A number of Indian seafarers are being deceived by these unregistered agencies into paying for jobs at sea. Our new video highlights this problem. ISWAN is working with a range of partners in India to stamp out this illegal practice that cruelly exploits seafarers,” said Roger Harris, ISWAN’s executive director.
India provides about 9.4 percent of the global seafarers, making it the third largest seafarer supplying nation in the world.