Our work


Piracy and armed robbery threaten seafarers and the maritime industry today, particularly off Somalia, in the Gulf of Guinea and in the South China Sea (a live piracy and armed robbery report can be found here). The international community has been successful in driving down rates of capture of ships and seafarers in the Indian Ocean, and piracy rates are down to levels seen in the 1990s. But there is continued pirate activity, notably off the coast of West Africa and in South East Asia. Some of this is very violent, and a worrying trend is seafarers being taken off ships to be held for ransom ashore.

Our Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme, part of our Regional Programme, was established in 2011 as a pan-industry alliance of shipowners, unions, managers, manning agents, insurers and welfare associations, formed to address the three phases of 'pre-, during and post incident'. It aimed to implement a model of assisting seafarers and their families with the humanitarian aspects of a traumatic incident caused by a piracy attack, armed robbery or being taken hostage. We continue to offer the following support to seafarers and their families affected by piracy:

  • 'Good practice' guides for use by shipping companies, manning agents and welfare associations to support both seafarers and seafarers' families
  • Pre-departure piracy awareness training for seafarers
  • Access to an international network of trained first-responders with appropriate skills within partner and associated organisations through SeafarerHelp, ISWAN's free, 24-hour, multilingual helpline
  • Relief funds for seafarers and their families affected by piracy
Additional documents

Project resources

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Other projects

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

Yacht Crew Help logo square

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

World Map

International activities

Providing humanitarian support to seafarers and their families in South and South East Asia

Peter Cornelissen 2 Peter Cornelissen

Social Interaction Matters (SIM)

Improving seafarers' health and wellbeing through promotion of increased, quality social interaction and rest time

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Mental Health Awareness Training for the Maritime Industry

Spotting the signs and responding to concerns

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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

Web Edited 2258 Joy Corthésy for ISWAN

International Seafarers' Welfare Awards

Recognising excellence in seafarers’ welfare provision across the shipping industry

Kalli Pavan 1 Kalli Pavan

Indian Seafarers Campaign

Discouraging Indian seafarers from signing up with unregistered crewing agencies

Mikhail Chulanov Wilson Garston 01 Mikhail Chulanov

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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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: