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Indian Nationals Record Highest Number Of Abandoned Seafarers In 2023, As ITF Releases Worrying Figures

The filipino Seafarers aboard the ill-fated vessel

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has released figures for the number of vessels abandoned in 2023, which show a worrying increase on figures from the previous year.

From the figures obtained from ITF, revealed that a total of 1,676 seafarers contacted the federation from abandoned vessels.

The figure further revealed that Indian seafarers were the most abandoned, with more than 400

According to ITF in a statement, seafarers are deemed to have been abandoned if the shipowner fails to cover the cost of a seafarer’s repatriation; or has left them without the necessary maintenance and support; or has otherwise unilaterally severed ties with them, including their failure to pay the seafarers’ contractual wages for a period of at least two months.

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The federation also reiterated that the ongoing rise in the number of seafarers abandonment is unacceptable urging ship owners to brace up and comply with the relevant conventions of international best practices.

Highlighting some of the findings , ITF revealed a total 129 of the 132 abandonment cases in 2023, adding that those owed wages from these 129 cases are in excess of $12.1 million.

The ITF disclosed that it has recovered more than $10.9 million in owed wages from 60 of these vessels so far. The final figure will exceed $12.1 million as cases take time to resolve and as other seafarers come forward, thereby increasing the amount of recoverable wages.

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“If you are a seafarer who are at risk of abandonment, please contact the ITF Seafarers’ Support team at abandonment@itf.org.uk immediately. DON’T DELAY, TELL US TODAY!”