About International Seafarers' Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN)
The International Seafarers' Welfare and Assistance Network is the new organisation that promotes seafarers welfare worldwide and directly serves seafarers by providing a 24 hour helpline. ISWAN is the result of a merger between the International Committee on Seafarers' Welfare (ICSW) and the International Seafarers Assistance Network (ISAN). ISWAN is a membership organisation with the International Chamber of Shipping, The International Transport Workers Federation and the International Christian Maritime Association as the core members.
Seafarers, who are responsible for transporting 95% of the world's goods, are frequently overlooked and forgotten about. With the fast turnaround of ship in ports, being on board for 10 months, reduced crew numbers and increased workloads, the lives of seafarers are often tough and hard. Seafarers face long periods away from family and friends with limited or no communication for weeks on end. Shore leave can be severely restricted, particularly for certain nationalities. Welfare facilities and services both onboard and ashore can be a lifeline for seafarers.
ISWAN provides direct welfare services to seafarers. The 24 hour multilingual helpline, seafarerhelp, runs every day of the year and is free for seafarers to call from anywhere in the world. ISWAN also runs an emergency welfare fund for seafarers in dire need, produces health information for seafarers, and provides information on the location of seafarer centres.
ISWAN works to support the welfare of seafarers all over the world. We work in support of organisations and bodies that provide direct welfare services to seafarers. We work to enable the establishment of welfare facilities and services in port and on ships. ISWAN brings together and supports our members to share learning and experiences to improve seafarers' welfare both onboard and ashore. In particular, ISWAN works for the implementation of the ILO Maritime Labour Convention 2006. We work with companies, unions, governments, welfare organisations (secular and faith based), and ports for the benefit of seafarers' welfare.
ISWAN is funded by membership subscriptions, grants from foundations, sponsorship, and earned income.