The ITF fights passionately for better lives at sea. Representing over 1 million seafarers in over 200 seafarers’ unions across 106 countries, we campaign globally and locally to advance seafarers’ rights and secure decent and safe working conditions. We are fighting exploitation in an industry that for too long has been out of sight and out of mind and navigating the shipping industry towards a sustainable future.
Seafarers move the world – connecting 90% of global trade and supply chains. Seafarers deliver the goods, food and commodities that fuel our economies and sustain our communities. Despite the critical role that seafarers play globally, they routinely face exploitation, which is exacerbated by the Flags of Convenience system. The ITF works tirelessly to advance and uphold seafarers’ rights through collective bargaining, strengthening international and national regulation, and a global inspectorate that monitors and enforces agreements and international law. We stand ready to hold any shipowner, government or company to account for any violation of our rights at sea.
SUPPLY CHAIN ACCOUNTABILITY
RAISING INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS
FUTURE OF WORK (YOUTH)
ITF’s Seafarers works to advance and enforce the rights of seafarers. We support seafarers to stand up for their rights, by:
- Recovering owed wages from shipowners.
- Getting seafarers home if they have been abandoned.
- Accessing shore leave in ports and medical attention when they need it.
- Assisting seafarers to fight criminalisation.
- Holding rogue shipowners to account who consistently exploit seafarers.
- Developing wellbeing resources for seafarers and supporting affiliated unions’ wellbeing programmes
To secure better working lives at sea, ITF is:
- Exposing the broken Flags of Convenience system, which is failing seafarers, consumers and risking our environment.
- Winning better pay and conditions through the world’s largest global collective bargaining agreement.
- Enforcing accountability across the maritime supply chain by holding companies to account for the human rights of seafarers moving their cargo.
- Monitoring and enforcing collective agreements and international maritime law through ITF’s global inspectorate.
- Raising international standards, strengthening global policy and influencing key international policy institutions including the IMO and ILO.
- Working with our national-level affiliates to ensure international standards are adopted and implemented by national governments.
- Supporting national campaigns for the expansion of domestic shipping industries through national cabotage laws.
- Leading the transition to sustainable shipping and ensuring that our jobs, our climate and our future are all protected through a maritime just transition.
- Campaigning for a more equal and inclusive industry, through our Women at Sea and Young Seafarers networks.
We also work across specific maritime sub-sectors and issues, with industrial task forces established for cabotage, cruise ships and offshore, as well as the committees that provide technical advice to support the ITF’s advocacy for seafarers at the IMO including the Maritime Safety Committee
This guidance focuses on the human rights risks in company supply chains for seafarers on merchant vessels. This is distinct from fishers and dockers, who are covered by different international
The ITF Seafarers’ Section has 212 affiliated union from 106 countries representing over 1 million seafarers worldwide.