ITF Welcomes UAE’s New Protection for Seafarers

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has expressed its support for United Arab Emirates’ recently introduced safety net for seafarers in case of abandonment.

“We are strongly behind the mandate issued by the Federal Transport Authority – Land and Maritime, for the financial protection of seafarers operating in the waters of the United Arab Emirates (UAE),” David Heindel, chair of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), seafarers’ section, said.

Heindel commented that basic rights are being violated on a daily basis by companies operating in this region, which not only fail to pay wages, but also fail to provide safe working conditions and enough food and clean water for their seafarers.

“This mandate makes clear that ship owners must provide financial protection against abandonment, death or injury,” Heindel said.

“This is a huge step forward in a region where, historically, ship owners have been allowed to repeatedly abuse the rights of seafarers. This has to stop and it has to stop now.”

The country’s FTA said that all ships flying the flag of the United Arab Emirates trading internationally, and all ships operating in UAE waters above 200 gross tons will need to have a contract of insurance to protect seafarers.

The insurance relates to cases of abandonment, death or injury of seafarers and covers up to four months’ owed contractual wages and entitlements, according to a circular issued by the FTA.

The measure, being introduced as the country readies to ratify the Maritime Labour Convention 2006, is set to enter into force on February 20, 2018.

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