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Indian seafarers UPSC NOTE

 Challenges faced by Indian seafarers 

  • India, contribute to 9.35% of global seafarers and ranks third globally

  • The challenges faced by Indian seafarers mainly includes various maritime threats, including 

    • piracy, 

    • armed robbery, 

    • extremist attacks, 

    • regional conflicts, and 

    • emerging risks such as drone attacks and the use of maritime weapons

  • Maritime piracy is a growing concern for Indian seafarers. 

  • With around 2,50,000 Indian seafarers serving on specialised cargo vessels worldwide, recent data from the International Maritime Bureau show a more than 10% increase in serious piracy incidents over the last 10 months

  • Armed pirates have boarded nearly 90% of targeted cargo ships, endangering seafarers.

  • Iranian shipping companies, in collaboration with international recruiters, exploit Indian seafarers by luring them with false promises of high salaries and opportunities in the Middle East. 

  • These seafarers often face overwork, are provided insufficient food, and are forced into transporting illegal cargo, despite paying hefty fees to secure overseas jobs.

  • India has called for vigilance, proactive measures, and international cooperation to combat piracy and protect seafarers, in line with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, in its papers submitted to the 111th Session of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Legal Committee (LEG)

  • Since 2020, over 200 cases of seafarer exploitation have been reported to the Indian Maritime Administration. 

  • India has urged international coordination to address these issues and ensure seafarers’ rights under the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006

  • The vulnerabilities of Indian seafarers, catalogued by a survey, shows how a majority lacked legal representation, felt unfairly treated, and were unaware of their rights

  • India has submitted papers to the IMO’s Legal Committee, which emphasise seafarers’ security and contract terms.

Government Initiative

  • The Indian government and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) launched the ‘human rights at sea’ initiative. 

  • Reports reveal cases of seafarers being held in foreign jails, stranded in foreign waters, and subjected to illegal detentions. 

  • ‘Human Rights at Sea’ has highlighted abuses against Indian seafarers, including 200 held in foreign jails and 65 stranded in Indonesia for 151 days. 

Government Initiative

  • The NHRC has highlighted the challenges of holding ship owners accountable for violations against Indian seafarers operating under foreign registrations to evade taxes and has stressed the need for proactive cooperation among stakeholders and mechanisms to protect human rights in the maritime industry.


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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Indian seafarers UPSC NOTE
Indian seafarers UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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