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If you're on a seatime phase, you are entitled to shore leave under longstanding international agreements.
Why is it important?
It isn't a luxury – shore leave is essential when you spend many weeks cooped up in your workplace.
It also gives you the opportunity to access phones and unrestricted internet, or even to seek medical help.
Time ashore is really important for your mental health and wellbeing, especially during your cadetship. If you would like to talk to someone about shore leave or for any other reason in your seatime phase, please get in touch with us.
How can I protect my rights?
Shore leave can be inconvenient for companies. Many seafarers have been denied shore leave, most recently during the Covid-19 pandemic – a situation that continues today in some countries, including China.
Nautilus has also heard from cadets recently who are being kept onboard, perhaps as part of an unspoken, unofficial policy at one sponsor, and is working to fix those specific situations.
If you are denied shore leave, there are concrete steps you can take:
- know your rights. The Maritime Labour Convention (2006) states that 'Seafarers shall be granted shore leave to benefit their health and wellbeing and consistent with the operational requirements of their positions
- contact Nautilus. We can help to advise you on your specific situation, and if we need to approach your training provider or sponsor then we can do so without mentioning your name
- get in touch with an ITF inspector. More than 140 International Transport Workers' Federation inspectors visit ships worldwide to ensure that companies are meeting their obligations to seafarers. See page 65 for more details, and to find your nearest inspector download the ITF Seafarers app from the Google Play or Apple store