Regional Seafarers' Welfare Development Programmes

The International Committee on Seafarers' Welfare (ICSW ) Regional Seafarers' Welfare Development Programme emphasises the establishment of National Seafarers' Welfare Boards (NSWB) and Port Welfare Committees (PWC).


The International Committee on Seafar- ers' Welfare (ICSW ) Regional Seafarers' Welfare Development Programme emphasises the establishment of National Seafarers' Welfare Boards (NSWB) and Port Welfare Committees (PWC). The NSWB and PWC structure, detailed in ILO Convention 163 and Recommendation 173, have been proven to be the best means of ensuring the long term sustainability of facilities and services developed under regional programmes. The seafarers' welfare provisions of the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 will continue to emphasise the NSWB and PWC structure.

The Programme has recently targeted seven South East Asian countries, which will work together as part of an ITF Seafarers' Trust funded initiative to address specific issues in order to achieve a minimum benchmark level of seafarers' welfare throughout the region. South East Asia will then link with the five other already established regions - Commonwealth of Independent and Baltic States, Indian Ocean and South East Africa, West Africa, North and Central Latin America and South Asia - to achieve a global minimum standard of seafarers' welfare.

Successes achieved under the Regional Programmes include:
Commonwealth of Independent and Baltic States - 12 new and seven refurbished centres; 22 ports receiving transport facilities; 19 centres receiving IT equipment; 30 individuals receiving language training, 40 receiving IT training; and 15 centre directors receiving management training. Georgia and Russia ratified ILO Convention 163, with the convention being promoted throughout the region. National Seafarers' Welfare Boards have been established in Georgia, Lithuania, Russia and Ukraine. The regional structure has been maintained beyond the programme to oversee completion of existing projects and guide future development.

North and Central Latin America - 7 national welfare committees and 12 port welfare committees established; 13 international seafarers' centres are in operation, with two more to be opened before the end of the programme. Many centres have been refurbished and/or have received new equipment. Training for welfare workers has been conducted throughout the region.

West Africa - New centres have been opened in San Pedro (Ivory Coast) and Pointe Noire (Congo). National Seafarers' Welfare Boards are operating in Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Benin, Nigeria and Congo. Ivory Coast have ratified ILO Convention 163 and set up a port levy system to fund seafarers' welfare facilities and services. New vehicles have been provided to Senegal, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Nigeria. Internet facilities for seafarers are now available in Sierra Leone and Ghana. English language, ship visitor, centre management and computer training have been provided to welfare workers throughout the region. Further development has taken place at Abidjan (Ivory Coast), Cotonou (Benin), Accra and Takoradi (Ghana) and Dakar (Senegal) seafarers' centres; ship visiting has been initiated in Guinea Bissau and a new seafarers' centre is being planned for Monrovia (Liberia).

Further details of current and completed Region- al Seafarers' Welfare Development Programmes can be found at: regional-work-programmes2.html

ILO Convention 163 can be downloaded from:

ILO Recommendation 173 can be downloaded from: