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Seafarers exploited for cash by recruiters, research shows

A new survey showed that many seafarers are being exploited by recruiters who illegally charge them exorbitant fees in exchange for jobs.

The survey, conducted by Mission to Seafarers charity and Liverpool John Moores University in the UK, revealed that majority of seafarers have been asked to pay huge recruitment fees.

The research also showed that senior and junior deck officers are often the target of recruiters who charge big fees to secure jobs for them.

The survey polled Filipinos (25 percent), Indians (22 percent), Sri Lankans (9 percent) and other nationalities.

Many seafarers have complained that they have been deployed without training, while others have complained about recruitment agencies receiving their salary before going rogue.

Under the Maritime Labour Convention, it is illegal for recruiters to ask for recruiting or placement fees or visa charges from the seafarer.

Governments have repeatedly warned their nationals against illegal recruiters. Last month, Philippine authorities shut down a recruitment company for operating without a license, and also arrested its manager and other company officers.

According to the Department of Migrant Workers, the illegal company was recruiting Filipinos as seafarers and yacht stewards and also charging them placement fees.

Their crime was uncovered after one of their victims reported them to the authorities when he was promised a job as an engine cadet that later turned out to be bogus. ICA/Expat Media


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