ITF Reports Alarming Increase In Vessel Abandonments In 2023

The International Transport Workers Federation (abbreviated the ITF) has released figures for the number of vessels abandoned in 2023 today, reflecting a worrying rise in the statistics from the earlier year. Almost 132 abandonments had been reported, 13 more than recorded in 2022 – an increase of 10.92%. The ITF did the majority of those reports (about 129).

Following the Maritime Labour Convention 2006, you’re deemed to have been abandoned if the ship-owner fails to cover the cost of a seafarer’s repatriation, has left them without necessary support and maintenance, or has otherwise severed ties unilaterally with them, including the failure to pay seafarers’ wages for at least two months.

Vessel
Image Credits: ITF/Twitter

Important results revealed:
Owed wages from 129 ITF-reported cases above $12.1 million.
About 1,676 mariners from abandoned vessels got in touch with the ITF.
With over 400 cases, Indian seafarers were most frequently abandoned.

ITF has received over $10.9 million in owed wages from 60 of the vessels so far. The final figure will then exceed $12.1 million as the cases take time to resolve and as the other seafarers come forward, increasing the recoverable wages. Steve Trowsdale, ITF Inspectorate Coordinator, said the rise in seafarer abandonment is unacceptable. It results from an industry where the seafarer can be a throw-away item.

Seafarers and families pay the price for the non-compliance and greed of ship owners, enduring the inhuman results of a system that compromises their dignity, well-being, and human rights. The ITF inspectors do a great deal in holding accountable those ship-owners who try getting away with treating seafarers like some modern-day slaves.

Reference: ITFGlobal

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