A programme that aims to improve seafarers' access to shore-based welfare services and to develop maritime welfare boards around the world is set to be launched during London's International Shipping Week.
The International Port Welfare Partnership (IPWP) programme is being officially launched during a business breakfast at Trinity House on Wednesday 13 September following a successful pilot project that established 'welfare boards' in Europe, Africa, Australia and the United States.
The joint initiative – managed by the UK Merchant Navy Welfare Board (MNWB) on behalf of the International Seafarers Welfare Assistance Network (ISWAN) – has been developed to promote compliance with Maritime Labour Convention requirements for seafarer welfare services.
Funded by the ITF Seafarers' Trust, the TK Foundation, Seafarers' UK and the MNWB, the project uses the 'best practice' model of port welfare committees, which have been operated by the MNWB for the past 70 years.
The launch will be followed by a debate entitled 'Fair Shipping: does it exist?' – with panellists including Tom Holmer, of the Sustainable Shipping Initiative; Natalie Shaw of the International Chamber of Shipping; Mission to Seafarers secretary-general Andrew Wrigh; Kuba Syzmanski, of Intermanager; and Phil Parry, from Spinnaker International.
MNWB chief executive and IPWP programme director Peter Tomlin said port-based welfare facilities and services are vitally important for seafarers.
We recognise the tremendous efforts made by the numerous or IPWP organisations, particularly in the voluntary sector, that support seafarers' welfare in ports. We hope the truly collaborative and supportive nature of our partnership programme will enable the maritime community to work even closer together to improve welfare conditions for seafarers across the globe. Peter Tomlin, MNWB chief executive and IPWP programme director