Who We Are

The International Seafarers' Welfare and Assistance Network promotes seafarers welfare worldwide and directly serves seafarers by providing a 24 hour helpline. ISWAN is the result of a merger between the International Committee on Seafarers' Welfare (ICSW) and the International Seafarers Assistance Network (ISAN). ISWAN is a membership organisation with the International Chamber of Shipping, The International Transport Workers Federation and the International Christian Maritime Association as the core members.

Seafarers, who are responsible for transporting 95% of the world's goods, are frequently overlooked and forgotten about. With the fast turnaround of ship in ports, being on board for 10 months, reduced crew numbers and increased workloads, the lives of seafarers are often tough and hard. Seafarers face long periods away from family and friends with limited or no communication for weeks on end. Shore leave can be severely restricted, particularly for certain nationalities. Welfare facilities and services both onboard and ashore can be a lifeline for seafarers.

ISWAN provides direct welfare services to seafarers. The 24 hour multilingual helpline, SeafarerHelp, runs every day of the year and is free for seafarers to call from anywhere in the world. ISWAN also runs an emergency welfare fund for seafarers in dire need, produces health information for seafarers, and provides information on the location of seafarer centres.

ISWAN works to support the welfare of seafarers all over the world. We work in support of organisations and bodies that provide direct welfare services to seafarers. We work to enable the establishment of welfare facilities and services in port and on ships. ISWAN brings together and supports our members to share learning and experiences to improve seafarers' welfare both onboard and ashore. In particular, ISWAN works for the implementation of the ILO Maritime Labour Convention 2006. We work with companies, unions, governments, welfare organisations (secular and faith based), and ports for the benefit of seafarers' welfare.

ISWAN is funded by membership subscriptions, grants from foundations, sponsorship, and earned income. 

Our YouTube channel is here.

Our Mission Statement

Our purpose: to promote seafarers welfare and related issues and the application of the relevant sections of the Maritime Labour Convention 2006

Our work: raising awareness, supporting front line providers, encouraging and recognising best practice in providing welfare assistance to seafarers, their families and dependants, providing liaison and referral services, undertaking relevant research, and building support for our work amongst stakeholders

Our values: operational excellence and committed partnership with stakeholders


ISWAN is a membership organisation that welcomes new members from all organisations involved or interested in the welfare of seafarers worldwide. ISWAN is interested in building our membership particularly among shipping companies and ports. If you are interested in joining ISWAN or would like more information on the benefits of membership see here

Donate to ISWAN

ISWAN relies on charitable grants and donations for our work with seafarers and we need your help.

Can you donate today to help the lives of seafarers and their families? Thank you.



Annual Report and Accounts

ISWAN publishes its annual accounts and report and is regulated by the UK Charity Commission. See below to download the latest audited accounts.



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