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HRAS case study alleges appalling treatment of Indian Seafarers

HRAS case study alleges appalling treatment of Indian Seafarers
A case study by Human Rights at Sea (HRAS) has revealed appalling systemic abuses in shipping’s treatment of Indian Seafarers.

Available to read on the HRAS website, the account by an anonymous 27-year-old Indian Seafarer alleges charges of over $6000 to go to sea, followed by withheld wages, deliberate starvation, physical assaults and other abuses against him and his fellow seafarers.

“…We said we shall die here to which our agent said that he was not bothered whether we live or die,” the seafarer’s account read. “[He said] I shall take the money from your insurance from the company and shall give it to your family. We were all shocked and he cut our phone off.”

“We did not eat anything so how could we work. We were beaten every day.”

As a result of their treatment, four of the eight men left the vessel in the Falkland Islands in order to receive medical attention before repatriation to India.

“This is one of a number of cases currently presented to Human Rights at Sea for investigation and review,” said HRAS ceo David Hammond. “The seafarers explicitly asked that this story should be shared publicly in order to continue to reinforce that all is not harmonious at sea and that abuses of seafarers continues day in day out despite the best efforts of regulatory regimes.”

“Although a slow process, the collection of such witness testimony continues by Human Rights at Sea. This informs ongoing work and future investigations and which in due course will be presented to the appropriate authorities for action, including flag States and shipping associations.”

Seafarer welfare is to be a major focus at the upcoming London International Shipping Week this month.