Issues faced by seafarers in 2022: ISWAN report

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With a new infographic based on data from its helplines, the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) has given insights into the difficulties that seafarers and their families encountered in 2022.

ISWAN operates various free, international, confidential helplines that provide 24-hour assistance and support to seafarers and their families worldwide.

ISWAN’s helpline services supported over 13,600 sailors and their families from 94 different nationalities in 2022, answering over 16,000 calls and emails.

The impact of Ukraine’s war was clearly apparent in the number of Ukrainian seafarers and their families who sought assistance from ISWAN’s helplines in 2022, which surged by 674% over the previous year.

The Ukraine crisis, combined with the persistent effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the aftereffects of Typhoon Rai in the Philippines, resulted in financial difficulties for many seafarers worldwide in 2022.

Contacts with ISWAN’s SeafarerHelp helpline about financial troubles more than doubled year on year, primarily from people seeking financial assistance from the Ukraine Crisis Support Fund, a relief fund operated by ISWAN on behalf of the Seafarers International Relief Fund.

Furthermore, abuse, bullying, harassment, and discrimination were reported to ISWAN’s helplines significantly more frequently in 2022 than in the previous year. Contacts about these difficulties climbed by more than a quarter in 2022 overall, and by 81% on ISWAN’s helpline service for yacht crew, Yacht Crew Help.

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