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R138 Recommendation concerning Seafarers' Welfare at Sea and in Port





Geneva, 29 ottobre 1970


The General Conference of the International Labour Organisation,

Having been convened at Geneva by the Governing Body of the International Labour Office, and having met in its Fifty-fifth Session on 14 October 1970, and
Noting the provisions of the Seamen's Welfare in Ports Recommendation, 1936, and
Conscious of the fundamental need for the provision of welfare facilities both in port and on board ship, and in particular, in the light of changing characteristics of the shipping industry, the need for continuing development of the former and the growing importance of the latter, and
Considering the importance of recognising the role of statutory welfare bodies and voluntary organisations in this field and of seeking their expert assistance, and
Having decided upon the adoption of certain proposals with regard to seafarers' welfare at sea and in port, which is the seventh item on the agenda of the session, and
Having determined that these proposals shall take the form of a Recommendation,
adopts this twenty-ninth day of October of the year one thousand nine hundred and seventy, the following Recommendation, which may be cited as the Seafarers' Welfare Recommendation, 1970:


I. Organisation and Financing of Welfare Activities



1. Welfare schemes should be systematically organised and financing should be on an adequate and regular basis.
2. Welfare services should be reviewed frequently to ensure that they keep pace with changes in the needs of seafarers resulting from technical, operational and other developments in the shipping industry.
3. There should be national, regional and/or port welfare boards, on which representative shipowners' and seafarers' organisations, the competent authorities and, where desirable and appropriate, voluntary organisations and social bodies concerned should be represented.
4. The functions of such boards should include surveying the need for, and assisting and co-ordinating, welfare facilities in the area for which the board is responsible.
5. Consuls and local representatives of foreign welfare organisations should, as appropriate, be associated with the work of regional and port welfare boards,
6. Measures should be taken to ensure that, as necessary, technically competent persons are employed full time in the operation of seafarers' welfare facilities, in addition to voluntary workers.
7. Where large numbers of seafarers of different nationalities require facilities such as hotels, clubs and sports facilities in a particular port, the competent authorities or bodies of the countries of origin of the seafarers and of the flag States should consult and co-operate with the competent authorities and bodies of the country in which the port is situated and with each other, with a view both to the pooling of resources and to avoiding unnecessary duplication.
8. With a view to better organising welfare and leisure activities and stimulating the use of welfare materials on board ship, instruction in the organisation of welfare activities on board should be included in training courses for officers and ratings. Consideration should be given to the periodic assignment to merchant vessels of an officer specially trained in such work.

II. Accommodation in Ports



9. Seafarers' hotels or hostels should be maintained in all ports of interest to international shipping where there is a need for them; they should provide facilities equal to those found in a good-class hotel, and should wherever possible be located in good surroundings away from the immediate vicinity of the docks.
10. These accommodation facilities should be open to seafarers of all nationalities, irrespective of colour, race or creed. Without in any way infringing this principle, it may be necessary in certain ports to provide several types of facilities, comparable in standard but adapted to the customs and needs of different groups of seafarers.
11. Where necessary and possible, provision should be made for accommodating seafarers' families in seafarers' hotels and hostels.
12. Prices charged for board and accommodation in seafarers' hotels and hostels should be kept at a reasonable level.
13. Seafarers' hotels and hostels should be properly supervised on the same basis as other comparable establishments.

III. General Welfare Measures in Port and on Board Ship



14. Governments should take measures designed to overcome restrictions on and to expedite the free circulation among ships, central supply agencies and welfare establishments of welfare materials such as films, books, newspapers and sports equipment for use by seafarers on board their ships and in welfare centres ashore.
15. Every effort should be made to ensure that the forwarding of seafarers' mail is as reliable and expeditious as possible. Efforts should be made also to avoid seafarers being required to pay additional postage when mail has to be readdressed owing to circumstances beyond their control.
16. Adequate means of transportation at moderate prices should be available at any reasonable time when needed in order to enable seafarers to reach city centres from port areas.
17. Every effort should be made by those responsible to facilitate the granting of shore leave to officers and ratings as soon as possible after a ship's arrival in port.
18. In order to ensure the maintenance of seafarers' family ties in the special conditions of their employment, the granting of leave at home at reasonable intervals should be encouraged.
19. Measures should be taken to ensure, subject to any national or international laws or regulations, that whenever possible and reasonable both officers and ratings are expeditiously granted permission to have their wives, other relatives and friends as visitors on board their ships when in port.
20. Consideration should be given to the possibility of allowing the wives of seafarers to accompany their husbands on an occasional voyage, where this is practicable and reasonable. Wives who so accompany their husbands should carry adequate insurance cover against accident and illness; the shipowner should give every assistance to the seafarer to effect such insurance.
21. Where possible and appropriate, the provision of canteens on board ship for officers and ratings should be considered, unless this is contrary to national, religious or social customs.
22. Where possible, consideration should be given to the provision on board ship of facilities for the projection of films, television viewing, handicrafts and reading.

IV. Recreation Facilities in Port and on Board Ship



23. Centres providing meeting and recreation rooms for seafarers of all nationalities should be established or developed in all ports of interest to international shipping where there is a need for them.
24. Healthy recreation such as hobbies, gymnastics, games or sports, both ashore and on board, as well as excursions to places of interest, should be encouraged and should be organised by and for seafarers with assistance as appropriate from the port welfare bodies. Where possible, facilities for swimming should be provided on board ship.
25. All seafarers visiting a port should, where practicable and possible, have the opportunity of taking part in sports and outdoor recreation; for this purpose suitable facilities should be made available, for example by providing sports fields for the use of seafarers or by arranging for them access to existing sports fields.
26. There should be co-operation among the competent authorities of different countries, shipowners' and seafarers' organisations, welfare organisations and ships' captains in the establishment of international seafarers' sports competitions such as lifeboat races, athletics and football matches.

V. Information and Educational Facilities in Port and on Board Ship



27. Appropriate vocational training schemes for seafarers should include education and information on matters affecting their welfare, including general health hazards.
28. Information should be disseminated among seafarers concerning facilities open to the general public in ports of call:particularly transport, welfare and educational facilities and places of worship:as well as facilities provided specifically for seafarers. Such information could be in the form of a booklet, printed in several languages, which also contains a plan of the city and port.
29. Interesting and culturally profitable spare-time activities on board ship should be encouraged through the supply of suitable literature and assistance in pursuing hobby activities and amateur entertainment.
30. Correspondence courses in a variety of subjects of interest to seafarers should be available; other educational aids, such as film projectors, film library services and a tape recorder, should be provided on individual ships where appropriate.


Note: R48 Recommendation concerning the Promotion of Seamen's Welfare in Ports, 24 ottobre 1936

Fonte: ILO