It’s not a secret, that nowadays Ukraine and Russia are the main seafarer labor suppliers worldwide, and probably concede only to Philippines.
Moreover, it’s not a secret, that signing off the vessel, as a rule the seafarers face the problems they even didn’t take into account leaving aboard, already at home
What kind of problems these can be? Judging by my practice, I would have conditionally distinguished the seafarers’ problems into several categories.
I’d like to point out, that I picked up the issues where the seafarers need EXCEPTIONALLY legal assistance.
But it doesn’t mean that the seafarer doesn’t need psychological or any other help.
The categories when the seafarers this or that way need help.
It’s impossible to describe all the problems but these are the main, to my mind, to be considered.
Before, during and after contract period.
Before contract period
- The problem to leave by the contract
- The problem to find a reliable ship owner and a good contract
- Crewing problems
- Seafarer documents
During the contract
- Hard labor conditions
- Non-payment of wages
- The vessel is abandoned by the seafarer
- Заболевание в рейсе illnesses during the contract period
- Injuries aboard
- Accidents (death or disappearance)
After contract period
- Outstanding wages
- Non-payment of sick leaves
- Non-payment of compensations
- Lack of pension coverage
- Payment of alimony
- Bank loans
These are the main seafarer’s problems in which the help is necessary.
I should say at once that the problem list has been compiled not by random, these are the cases I dealt and presently deal with.
If to apply to statistics, I would have rather distributed these problems according to the degree of urgency, importance and priority.
The most of requests come for job, vessel and reliable ship owner search assistance.
After that come the seafarers who need assistance in outstanding wages and in the alimony payment issues.
And comparatively less requests are as for injury, sickness, death aboard compensations.
This statistic is easy to be explained, that in present crisis time everyone is trying to find a good contract with well-paid salary. Hence, I have the constant requests for employment on a good vessel, or the requests on reliability of a ship owner and a crewing company check.
As for the outstanding wages and the assistance in debt collection –
Unfortunately, the seafarers are not insured against unreliable ship owners and “the adventurers” in shipping. It’s sad, but the fact. The vessels are abandoned the salary is delayed or non-paid at all. Hence I have a constant applies for help in receiving outstanding wages.
And of course, the requests concerning injuries, deaths and sicknesses aboard and assistance in receiving the compensations for them.
But nevertheless, about 50 Ukrainian seafarers die all over the world every year.
There is no injury-concerned statistics at all.
The seafarers need help in solving if not all but a great amount of issues.
But my point is – the assistance is to be provided by exceptionally highly qualified specialists, otherwise this help can provoke some undesirable consequences for the seafarer.