ITF Expands into Asia Pacific
The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) has established its latest Contacts Network, covering Bangladesh, Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Thailand.
ITF has seen a significant increase in seafarers requesting assistance from countries without an inspector or contact, in recent years.
Attempting to resolve these requests is often challenging due to several factors, including the local political context and the effectiveness of maritime authorities.
To address this problem the ITF initiated a project in 2018 to create a network of contacts from ITF affiliated unions, welfare organisations and government departments in identified countries.
With some limited training and education these contacts can provide on the ground support to seafarers in need of assistance in their ports and solidarity support for dockers projects and campaigns, all under the coordination of an experienced ITF inspector.
The total number of countries covered by this close coordination and the ITF Inspectorate combined is now 90, with Contacts Networks already established in the Arab World and Iran, Latin America and the Caribbean, and West Africa.
The Arab World network now has contacts in 14 countries and has proven on numerous occasions to be effective in assisting seafarers despite difficult and challenging situations.