The first step towards improving welfare services and facilities in your port is signing up to the Port Visitor platform and becoming a Seafarers’ Port Welfare Liaison.
Seafarers’ Port Welfare Liaisons work with port owners or authorities to represent the interests of visiting seafarers, gather information and support the International Port Welfare Partnership.
If you answered “yes” to all of the above questions then many congratulations! Your port already supports seafarers’ and your committee is acting as a welfare board in accordance with ILO MLC, 2006. Please sign up and register your welfare board, so that all of your good work can be recognised, promoted and shared with seafarers and the maritime community.
If welfare services and facilities are available in your port but there is not a committee or board that meets to review them, please see guidance and templates in the Resources section.
If you have joined or created a Welfare Board, then you will probably encourage others to join. The IPWP programme isn’t just about representation on Welfare Boards though. It is about everyone working together to improve seafarer welfare in ports globally. If there are local businesses that could support welfare provision financially or through gifts in kind, then they should be encouraged to make a commitment.
If there are local service providers and retailers that are willing to offer discounts to seafarers, then please get them on board. Seafarers often find themselves in unfamiliar places far from home, and they really do appreciate the local support they receive when they visit ports and take much needed shore leave.
These are unprecedented times and Port Visitor is all about supporting and improving seafarers’ welfare, worldwide. The negative impact of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic on seafarers has been dramatic. Restrictions on crew changes, shore leave and repatriation continue to affect both mental and physical health. The need for the maritime sector to collaborate and provide real time information to support and improve seafarers’ welfare in ports has never been more important.
There are many different ways that you and your organisation can get involved in the programme. Whether you represent a government, shipowner, union, port owner/authority or a maritime charity/NGO, everyone has a part to play in improving seafarer welfare and delivering the mandate of MLC, 2006. Indeed, if everyone does a little we can achieve a lot!
You can easily register for a free account to get started. Creating an account will allow you to see inside the world of port based welfare services and it is the first step towards the positive outcomes that the United Nations Conventions make possible.