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ITF Seafarers’ Trust launches new Seafarers’ Shore Leave Survey

23 May 2024

According to MLC 2006, “Seafarers shall be granted shore leave to benefit their health and well-being and consistent with the operational requirements of their positions”.[1] But what is the current reality?

We want to understand current practice around Shore leave to inform our efforts to improve seafarers’ welfare and wellbeing in ports.’ 

The ITF Seafarers’ Trust has created a Shore leave survey to understand what seafarers want and the barriers they face to getting ashore. 

During the Covid pandemic, seafarers faced lengthy contract extensions, barriers to repatriation and no possibility to take shore leave. Many seafarers’ welfare centres ashore were forced to close temporarily, and volunteering was impacted by lockdowns. On the other hand, affordable communication technology has become more available to seafarers which should in theory enhance social connectivity. Anecdotally we heard from some seafarers that they choose not to take shore leave because they need the time to rest and from others that they value shore leave and view seafarers’ welfare centres as safe havens. 

Given broader discussions around seafarers’ wellbeing as well as recruitment and retention issues we think the right to shore leave deserves some more attention.

This survey can be found here  


[1]LC 2006, Regulation 2.4, Paragraph 2)

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