Abandoned Seafarer Offered Low Wages Settlement
The U.K.-based charity Human Rights at Sea (HRAS) has been contacted in desperation by Indian seafarer Vikas Mishra who is owed over 30 months' salary.
Mishra had previously spent 35 months and 13 days without pay onboard the UAE flagged MV Tamim Aldar owned by Eliteway Marine Services. Since August 8, Mishra, 34, and his fellow crew members have been ashore in the UAE, and he has received five months salary. To date, he is still owed over $71,000, claims HRAS, which reports that other crew have signed off and been paid up to 80 percent of wages owed by Eliteway Marine Services.
HRAS says Mishra and others have suffered significant human rights abuses by not being paid their hard-earned wages, being prevented from having personal contact with their families, becoming estranged from their children and having suffered significant hardships in poor living conditions onboard their vessels.
“The fact that these seafarers who have suffered significant personal hardships are now forced to negotiate for less than all the pay they are owed is entirely unacceptable and a stain on the industry,” says the charity. “No seafarer should be short-changed, abused and forced to remain on a vessel in order to secure their pay.
“Further, there is a global lack of publicized prosecutions of owners behind such human rights abuses which means that impunity in this matter continues unchecked due to a failure in such a deterrent effect and the perceived lack of effective remedy for victims and survivors.”
HRAS has issued an independent review of the current legal and policy protections for seafarers operating in UAE waters following a series of high-profile abandonment cases since late 2018.