A local Welfare Board (Port Welfare Committee) may serve the seafarer’s of one port, or it may cover several ports in different locations. A number of Port Welfare Committees may be organised as part of a national body, known as a national welfare board (NWB).
A Welfare Board is a committee or forum that works to support and improve the welfare of seafarers. It provides a forum where people from organisations that deal with the welfare of resident and visiting seafarers can meet to discuss and coordinate their actions. The organisations that normally benefit from Welfare Board representation are as follows: Flag States and Port State Control, Port Owners & Authorities; Ship Owners and their representatives; Coastguard; Unions and their Inspectors, Welfare organisations & Charities and their Ship Welfare Visitors.
Provides an independent, impartial forum to improve cooperation between public authorities; ship owners, unions, ports and voluntary organisations.
Ensures seafarers and fishers have easy access to shore-based facilities and services
Ensures seafarers and fishers re appropriately cared for and protected in a safe environment
Promotes the development of appropriate port welfare facilities and report on underutilized facilities
Conducts welfare reviews to adapt to the changing needs of the shipping industry
Consults with competent authorities to promote and improve welfare facilities and services in ports
Promotes the pooling of resources and help avoid unnecessary duplication of effort
Encourages the organisation of shore-based welfare seminars, activities and events for seafarers and, where appropriate, fishers.
Encourages financial support for port welfare facilities from public funds; levies or other special dues from shipping sources and voluntary contributions
Ensures any welfare taxes, levies and special dues are used only for the purposes for which they are raised
Supports the production and disseminated of general port information among seafarers
Supports adequate means of transportation at reasonable times and, where applicable at moderate prices
Ensures shipowners and seafarers entering a country or port are aware of any special laws and customs that may contravene or jeopardize their freedom
Monitors compliance with the ISPS Code to ensure seafarers have access to shore-based welfare facilities
Provides a lobbying organisation for improvements to seafarers’ welfare
Produces valuable feedback on welfare programmes, projects and events to funding organisations
Provides representation at international, national and local welfare forums
Promotes seafarers’ visibility to non-seafarers.
The men and women who live and work at sea are often away from their families and friends for many months, working long hours at demanding jobs, landing at foreign countries for short periods of time. A rare port visit offers an important opportunity for a seafarer to receive care, to communicate with their families, to see a doctor, to seek advice or visit local shops. Welfare Boards support the welfare providers who provide these services and help improve the lives of seafarers. If you are interested in starting or participating in a Welfare Board message the project team via the Contact Us webpage.