Port Levies and Sustainable Welfare for Seafarers

The International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) has just published a report ‘Port levies and Sustainable Welfare for Seafarers’. The report details best practice in establishing and operating port levies around the world. It documents how levies make a real difference to welfare organisations and the services that they are able to provide for seafarers, at a time when funding for seafarers’ welfare is under pressure.

This report was authored by Dr Olivia Swift, a Research Associate with Greenwich Maritime Institute (GMI), who conducted a survey with seafarers centres and other maritime charity organisations involved in providing welfare service for seafarers worldwide.

This report is being launched in the run up to the ILO’s Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 coming into force on 20 August 2013. The Convention states that “Every seafarer has the right to health protection, medical care, welfare measures and other forms of social protection.” (Article IV). The Convention guidelines on the financing of welfare facilities include: “levies or other special dues from shipping sources”. (Guideline B4.4.4).

‘Port levies and sustainable welfare for seafarers’ was launched at an ISWAN seminar: ‘How can port levies help deliver welfare provisions in the MLC, 2006?’, held on 21 May 2013 at the Baltic Exchange, London. Dr Olivia Swift presented the main findings to the seminar, which was attended by GMI deputy director Dr Minghua Zhao and three other researchers from the Institute along with about 20 other delegates from across the world who have specialist experiences and expertise on issues concerning welfare for seafarers. Dr Minghua Zhao said, ‘Port levies seem to offer a good way to help secure and sustain a predictable income to help shore-based welfare provisions in the Maritime Labour Convention to be implemented globally. I am delighted that my colleague Dr Swift’s research can contribute to the process’.

Olivia Swift, ISWAN Seminar
Dr Olivia Swift speaking at the ISWAN Seminar, 22 May 2013, Baltic Echange, London

Blog by Dr Minghua Zhao