Statistics of abandoned vessels in 2023

The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) has released data on the number of abandoned ships in 2023, which shows an increase in these figures compared to the previous year, which is worrying.

A total of 132 ship abandonments were reported, which is 13 (i.e. 10.92%) more than in 2022. The vast majority of these reports (129) came from ITF.

According to the ILO Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC), a ship is considered abandoned if the shipowner fails to cover the costs of repatriation of seafarers; leaves the crew without the necessary maintenance and support; or otherwise unilaterally breaks ties, including failing to pay contractual wages to seafarers for at least two months.The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) has released data on the number of abandoned ships in 2023, which shows an increase in these figures compared to the previous year, which is worrying.

The main indicators are as follows:

- Wage arrears in 129 cases reported to the ITF exceeded $12.1 million.

- 1,676 seafarers contacted the ITF from abandoned ships.

- Indian seafarers were the most frequently abandoned by shipowners, with over 400 cases.

To date, the ITF has recovered more than $10.9 million in wages owed from 60 of these vessels. The final amount will exceed $12.1 million as cases take time to resolve and new seafarers will come forward, increasing the amount of wages to be recovered.

Steve Trowsdale, ITF Inspectorate Coordinator, said: "The increase in the number of abandonment cases is unacceptable. It is a consequence of an industry in which seafarers can be easily discarded. Seafarers and their families pay the ultimate price for shipowners' greed and failure to fulfil their obligations; crews suffer the inhumane consequences of a system that compromises their well-being, dignity and basic human rights. ITF inspectors are doing an incredible job of holding shipowners accountable who seek to get away with mistreatment and slavery of seafarers."

The largest number of cases of ship abandonment were recorded by flag states:

The highest number of abandonment cases was recorded by flag states:

Panama - 23

Palau - 12

Cameroon - 11

Saint Kitts and Nevis -8

Flag unknown - 8

Comoros - 6

Tanzania - 6

Togo - 6

As we have already mentioned, unfortunately, Ukrainians are still among the top 5 nationalities on abandoned ships. The trend shows that such problems are faced by seafarers who do not carefully read the terms of their employment contracts and do not know their rights.

To avoid ending up on an abandoned vessel due to unscrupulous employment intermediaries, you can check it in advance at the following link: https://www.ilo.org/dyn/seafarers/seafarersBrowse.... or contact the MTWTU. You can use the MTWTU chatbot to get a prompt answer to all your questions: https://wep.wf/uvmj7n

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