The plight of migrant sailors in the Gulf
The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) keep records on these abuses. Worldwide, there are 4,866 seafarers on a total of 336 ships recorded as abandoned on board ship. According to the IMO, the majority of cases last between five and eight months. In recent years, there has been a sharp rise in these numbers.
Migrant seafarers in the Gulf face particularly precarious working environments because they tend to be excluded from social protections safeguarded by labour laws. Migrant sailors are thus even more vulnerable to abuse from their kafeel (sponsors). Seafarers are also subjected to harsh working conditions and have found themselves stranded at sea, suffering from malnourishment and restricted movement.
These articles document maritime human rights abuses committed by Gulf-based companies. The cases of abandoned seafarers onboard ships in the Gulf described below are: Faryal, Sharjah Moon, Ocean Pride, Janan, SL Star, MT Beta, MT Cityelite, MT Al Nouf and MT Laowdale.
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited ALCO Shipping Services, one of the companies mentioned in the below reports, to respond to allegations of abuse. ALCO did not respond.