The short film commissioned by Seafarers’ Rights International highlights the major issue of abandonment of ships and their crews in foreign ports around the world, an often-seen phenomenon even in the 21st century. When abandoned, seafarers have to handle difficult situations, including isolation and lack of food or heating, which make them dependent on the local environment.
There are number of reasons why a shipping company may abandon crews, such as bankruptcy, ship arrest by port state control or deliberate profitability of the shipowners over seafarers. Sometimes, they cannot get back home or they are even unpaid for months.
Although international stakeholders have responded to the problem of abandonment, with 2001 adoption of financial security by IMO and ILO, and the Maritime Labor Convention (MLC) in 2006, the problem is yet to be extinguished.
The video informs that if crew is facing abandonment, they can contact ITF, the flag-state, the port state, the seafarers’ embassy or consulate in port, any other welfare organizations in port or the local community.