Every year, a number of Indian seafarers join merchant shipping through crewing agencies not registered with the Directorate General of Shipping, even though it is mandatory for all agencies to obtain a Recruitment and Placement Services Licence (RPSL) from the Government of India.
These agencies pose a number of serious risks to seafarers – abandonment on vessels outside India, unpaid wages, prison time from working onboard ships carrying illegal cargo, and sea time not counted by the Directorate General of Shipping, to name a few. All these difficulties affect not only the seafarers themselves but also their families, who can find themselves financially at risk without a reliable income upon which to survive.
This video features Mayur, a seafarer who joined a vessel through an unregistered crewing agency and spent 22 months at sea when the crew was abandoned by the shipowner. Also interviewed are Ajay and Vikrant, who completed their pre-sea training with a maritime institute not approved by the Directorate General of Shipping. Both were then deceived by fraudulent crewing agencies who charged them to find work at sea.
This video has been released as part of the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network’s (ISWAN) campaign against unregistered crewing agencies in India. It focuses on the risks posed to Indian seafarers who sign up with such agencies to find work at sea.