Seafarer abuse continues with low settlement offers for outstanding wages

Press Release & Comment

21st August 2019

London, UK. This evening Human Rights at Sea was contacted in desperation by a seafarer and Indian national 34-year-old Vikas Mishra from Jaunpur who had previously suffered 35 months and 13 days onboard the UAE flagged MV Tamim Aldar owned by Eliteway Marine Services Ltd without pay and seeing his family in what has been a widely and internationally reported matter.

Since 8th August, Vikas and his fellow crew members have been ashore in the UAE and in his case he has only received five months salary. To date, he is still owed over 30 months salary amounting to in-excess of USD 71,000.

To compound the unacceptable circumstances and significant human rights abuses which has seen seafarers of numerous vessels previously abandoned offshore the UAE coast prevented from being paid their hard-earned wages, consequently prevented from having personal contact with their families, becoming estranged from their children and having suffered significant hardships in poor living conditions onboard their vessels, the remaining seafarers including Vikas are now being offered only 66% of their owed wages while other crew who have signed off have been reportedly paid up to 80% of wages owed by Eliteway Marine.

The fact that these seafarers who have suffered significant personal hardships are now forced to negotiate for less than all the pay they are owed is entirely unacceptable and a stain on the industry.

No seafarer should be short-changed, abused and forced to remain on a vessel in order to secure their pay.

Further, there is a global lack of publicised prosecutions of owners behind such human rights abuses which means that impunity in this matter continues unchecked due to a failure in such a deterrent effect and the perceived lack of effective remedy for victims and survivors.



Important Note to Readers

Human Rights at Sea continues to publish educational materials, publications, investigative case studies of individual and family testimony highlighting unacceptable conditions onboard vessels of all tonnages, as well as throughout the associated maritime supply chain, in order to establish greater public awareness of the issues raised without compromising our editorial freedom.

The charity does not subscribe to any imposed protocols and agreements with other entities effectively limiting the ability to report freely and objectively disclose facts, including the reality of unacceptable labour, and wider human rights abuses at sea.

The charity will therefore continue to take a legal and moral stand whenever and wherever it can to fairly advocate for the betterment of human rights, working conditions, and the reduction in abuse at sea. This includes pressing issues such as the criminalisation of seafarers and humanitarian rescuers, abuses towards migrants, impunity of flag States in transparently reacting to and addressing reported abuse, the expansion of the positive contributory role of civil society organisations in the maritime sector, and the provision of greater awareness of effective remedies when abuse occurs.

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