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.
When Mukesh* was struggling financially after an operation, he contacted the ISWAN South Asia team who secured a grant to support him.
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.
Spotting the signs and responding to concerns
A guide for shipping companies and ship operators to develop and implement mental health policies
Helping shipping and ship management companies to improve social interaction on board
We launched the results of our survey of superyacht crew in London on 3rd December 2018
Recognising excellence in seafarers’ welfare provision across the shipping industry
Discouraging Indian seafarers from signing up with unregistered crewing agencies
We provide shipping companies and seafarers with information on staying healthy on board
A free training package suitable for both individual viewing by all crew and training sessions onboard and ashore
A project aiming to encourage and support the establishment of welfare boards worldwide
Providing seafarers with the right tools and information to keep hydrated on board
A joint initiative looking at the health of women seafarers and where it can be improved