Help support seafarers' welfare

Seafarers play a vital role in all our lives and they deserve recognition and support when they come into port.

The ship is their home as well as their workplace and when in port they need a connection to their families, supplies, and a welcome break from being at sea. This is why we need to establish Welfare Boards in trade ports around the world. In doing so, we are ensuring good access to welfare facilities when seafarers and fishers come ashore.

Welfare Boards are made up of Government and Maritime Authorities, ship owners and operators, unions, port owners and authorities, as well as charities and volunteer organisations.

We are also looking for volunteer Seafarers' Port Welfare Liaisons (SPWL) who will act as a point of contact and provide essential information to visiting seafarers. If you are interested in this role, please ask your port owner or authority to nominate you.

For more information visit the SPWL page, or go to the Contact Page to get in touch.

If you'd like more information about setting up a Welfare Board, have a look at our help pages. If you'd like to register an existing Welfare Board, please get in touch via the Contact Page

Together, we can change the face of seafaring for the better.

Sign up
Bow of a container ship. It is yellow and white, with crew members visible looking over the side of the ship

Why Port Visitor?

Many ports around the world support seafarers by providing access to welfare services and facilities. This is a real lifeline for those working at sea who may need help, advice or someone to talk to. However, access to information is not always easy to find.

Port Visitor provides a platform to centralise, publish and share up to date port welfare information. It also allows seafarers to review and provide feedback on services and facilities.

As a central resource for the maritime sector, Port Visitor helps to create and sustain welfare boards, also known as Port Welfare Committees (PWCs). These groups work under the guidance set out by ILO MLC 2006 to improve welfare in ports.

Port Visitor supports front line welfare providers, helps port communities review and report on services, collates feedback and ultimately provides seafarers with the information necessary to enhance their quality of life

Working under MLC 2006

The International Labour Organisation’s Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (‘MLC 2006’) sets out the rights of seafarers’ to decent working conditions and highlights the important role that welfare boards can play.

Also known as the Seafarers’ Bill of Rights, MLC 2006 recognises that seafarers are professionals and they are the lifeblood of the global economy, moving goods around the world to meet the needs of consumers and businesses. In fact, 90% of all goods are transported by sea. It is the most economic and environmentally friendly form of transportation, further highlighting the crucial role of the men and women who live and work at sea.

The formation of Welfare boards is encouraged by the ILO, as they are seen to be essential in improving seafarer welfare globally. If you don’t already have a Welfare Committee in port then bringing the maritime community together to form a Welfare Board or Port Welfare Committee is one of the best ways to improve the wellbeing of seafarers.

Join us and become a vital force in shaping the future of the maritime industry for the better. As part of a global welfare movement, your actions will have a meaningful impact on the lives of seafarers everywhere. Don’t miss this opportunity to make a real difference.

Join today

Join the Port Visitor community today, and be part of a global network that empowers maritime communities to publish, share and review crucial port welfare information.

By offering a platform to provide feedback, we aim to create a positive and collaborative environment, and ensure that seafarers worldwide receive the support they deserve.