University (GMU) and the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance
Network (ISWAN) have collaborated on a joint research project to understand the
challenges that Indian seafarers face when looking for work at sea and the
issues that arise when they are duped by fraudulent crewing agents.
India is one of the largest seafarer-supplying nations in the
India is one of the
largest seafarer-supplying nations in the world, with an estimated 250,000
active trained seafarers. However, due to the imbalance between demand and
supply of seafarers, some of them struggle to find work at sea.
The research to develop SOP to initiate action against errant
agents duping seafarer
The research will examine
any potential gaps in the current Merchant Shipping Act, 19581 identified by
the findings and suggest suitable amendments to the legislation to address
them. The research will also develop a comprehensive Standard Operating
Procedure (SOP) to help stakeholders initiate action against any errant agents
who have duped a seafarer.
Prof. (Dr.) S.
Shanthakumar, Director, School of Maritime Law, Policy and Administration,
Gujarat Maritime University, said:
‘The seafarers are instrumental in ensuring the swift movement of ships
and cargo from one place to another. India prides itself as she is one of the
largest seafarers supplying nations in the world. Despite their contribution to
the economy these unsung heroes have to face many difficulties while getting
placed onboard vessels. This is why the GMU is pleased to partner with ISWAN to
conduct further research on the topic to understand the key challenges a
seafarer undergoes during the recruitment process before joining a vessel. The
study intends to examine the lacunae in the current legal system and aim to
suggest suitable amendments to the laws to remedy the situation.’
Chirag Bahri, ISWAN’s
Director of Regions, said:
‘The seafarers being duped by fraudulent crewing agent often find
themselves stranded, abandoned on vessels for months while others being held in
jail in a foreign land on various charges of illicit crime on an unseaworthy
vessel. These incidents have impacted not only the future career prospects of
the seafarers but also their as well as their family’s mental, physical and
financial health. We are pleased to work on this crucial research work with
Gujarat Maritime University and that their expertise on the subject shall be
very useful towards further advocating the outcome with the relevant
Who can participate in
Any Indian seafarer who
may have faced crewing agent-related issues while joining ships or has been a
victim of fraud can participate and fill out the survey form.
The information collected
by GMU will be used to examine any gaps in the current Merchant Shipping Act
(as amended), and the stakeholders will be requested to take appropriate action
in response to the findings.