Our work

International activities

As well as operating from our base in the UK, we also operate through our international team, providing humanitarian support to seafarers and their families in South and South East Asia and West and Central Africa.

ISWAN has teams operating in two of the most significant labour supply countries (India and Philippines) to:

  • carry out local advocacy and campaigning on behalf of seafarers and their families
  • manage serious and complex casework in coordination with our helpline SeafarerHelp and local partners
  • promote and develop ISWAN’s services and projects locally
  • maintain and coordinate relationships with all local stakeholders

ISWAN in partnership with the Nigerian Seafarers’ Welfare Board employs a social worker to work with seafarers and their families who have been imprisoned, need psychosocial support or have been victims of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.

You can read about some of the seafarers and families helped by our international team in the Regional Stories below.

Seafarer Stories

  • Piracy survivors helped to rebuild after years in captivity

    In March 2015, Somali pirates hijacked the Iranian fishing vessel FV Siraj and kidnapped four of the crew members, then held them hostage for several years. ISWAN was there for the families of the crew while they waited for their loved ones to return, and we supported the crew members after their release as they started their recovery.

  • Supporting unpaid crew in Nigeria

    Imagine travelling to a foreign country and joining a vessel as a member of its crew, only to find that the working and living conditions are far from what they should be. Not only that, but you are not being paid the wages owed to you. What would you do?

Other projects

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A free, 24-hour, multilingual helpline for seafarers and their families worldwide

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Yacht Crew Help

A free, 24-hour, multilingual helpline for professional yacht crew worldwide

ISWAN for Seafarers Project image for website

ISWAN for Seafarers app

A free mobile app for seafarers which can be used offline to access help, information and support around the clock

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Social Interaction Matters (SIM)

Helping shipping and ship management companies to improve social interaction on board

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Mental Health Awareness Training for the Maritime Industry

Spotting the signs and responding to concerns

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We offer support to seafarers and their families affected by maritime piracy

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Superyacht Crew Welfare

We launched the results of our survey of superyacht crew in London on 3rd December 2018

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Mentally Healthy Ships

A guide for shipping companies and ship operators to develop and implement mental health policies

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International Seafarers' Welfare Awards

Recognising excellence in seafarers’ welfare provision across the shipping industry

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ISWAN Seminar 2019

Working together to protect and promote the mental wellbeing of seafarers

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Indian Seafarers Campaign

Discouraging Indian seafarers from signing up with unregistered crewing agencies

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Seafarers' Health Information Programme (SHIP)

We provide shipping companies and seafarers with information on staying healthy on board

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Seafarers' Mental Health and Wellbeing

A free training package suitable for both individual viewing by all crew and training sessions onboard and ashore

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International Port Welfare Partnership (IPWP) Programme

A project aiming to encourage and support the establishment of welfare boards worldwide

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Quench Hydration Campaign

Providing seafarers with the right tools and information to keep hydrated on board

Women Seafarers Health And Welfare Survey

Women Seafarers' Health and Welfare Survey

A joint initiative looking at the health of women seafarers and where it can be improved

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ISWAN Photo Competition

Sharing photography by seafarers all over the world

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We are grateful to our main funders for their continued support: