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ISWAN Regional Programme

Our Regional Programme provides humanitarian support to seafarers and their families in three specific regions: South East Asia, South Asia, and West and Central Africa. It is funded by the Trafigura Foundation.

Seafarers taken hostage have a major worry about what becomes of their families while they face months or years of captivity. Our Regional Programme was developed in response to the needs of seafarers facing the crisis of being taken hostage by pirates and the families left behind. We provided emotional and practical support, training in crisis response, and guidelines for the treatment of seafarers and their families.

To be situated in the areas of greatest need, the programme developed a presence in the Philippines (home to more seafarers than anywhere else in the world), India and Nigeria. Our trained responders operate with a network of volunteers and through other seafarers’ welfare agencies to reach scattered families with assistance. As Somali piracy reduced in size and scope, our Regional Programme moved towards the wider effects of crises – deaths, injuries, illness, imprisonment – among seafarers and their families, where we are able to bring practical and emotional support in times of need.

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

Regional Stories

  • Emergency help for seafarers in need

    When Mukesh* was struggling financially after an operation, he contacted the ISWAN South Asia team who secured a grant to support him.

  • 70 days held hostage by pirates

    In 2019, five Indian seafarers were kidnapped from their vessel in the Gulf of Guinea by Nigerian pirates and held hostage for more than two months. Two of the seafarers, Sudeep and Ankit, told us about their harrowing ordeal.

Other projects

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NEW: 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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SeafarerHelp

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

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Piracy

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

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Mental Health Awareness Training for the Maritime Industry

Spotting the signs and responding to concerns

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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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Social Interaction Matters (SIM)

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

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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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Yacht Crew Help

24-hour support for professional yacht crew worldwide

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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

Seafarers Mental Health And Wellbeing

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

Day Of The Seafarer 2018 Photography Competition Main Photo

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: