India Moves to Protect Seafarers Working Overseas
The Indian government has tightened the recruitment process for seafarers taking jobs overseas to protect them from unscrupulous agents and shipowners.
The move comes after recent reports of around 100 Indian seafarers stranded in the UAE without proper contracts.
Gulf News reports that the Indian government now requires that seafarer recruitment on foreign ships to occur through the e-Migrate online recruitment portal www.emigrate.gov.in
Recruiters must be approved by the Directorate General of Shipping and their details recorded on the system which will be linked to the Bureau of Immigration, enabling Indian immigration authorities to stop seafarers not recruited through the system from leaving the country. The system is also designed to prevent seafarers seeking their Continuous Discharge Certificate (seafarers' identity document) from flags of convenience, says the Indian Consul General in Dubai.
A test of the combined system will run for three months from September 1.
Nearly 100 Indian seafarers have been stranded on ships in the UAE over the past few months, often without food, water and fuel. Around 70 of them have now been repatriated.