CSR Demands that the U.S. End Crew Visas

Tuesday, April 02, 2002
The Seamen's Church Institute's Center for Seafarers Rights (CSR) called for the United States to eliminate crew visas. The recent incident of four Pakistani seafarers jumping ship after receiving visa waivers and the subsequent denial of shore leave for the ship's remaining crewmembers clearly demonstrates the need for the United States to review its shore leave policies. "A flawed crew visa policy resulted in the disciplining of the INS officer in the Norfolk case, while threatening to tighten already overly restricted shore leave controls -without enhancing national security," said Douglas B. Stevenson, Director of the Center for Seafarers' Rights said in a letter to the Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. "The condition of a vessel and the treatment of its crew provide a far better means of evaluating ship-jumping risks," continued Mr. Stevenson who is a former U.S. Coast Guard Commander. "Greatly increasing penalties to the owners or operators of ships from which crew jump would prove a far more effective method of preventing illegal entry than increasing restrictions on shore leave." Mariners who are well-paid and well-treated by their employers are extremely unlikely to jump ship. Greatly increasing penalties to the owners or operators of ships from which crew jump would prove a far more effective method of preventing illegal entry than increasing restrictions on shore leave. Most foreign merchant mariners sign on for long voyages of 10 months to a year, working under incredibly difficult conditions to earn higher salaries than those available in their homelands. They face extended periods at sea with long work hours and in cramped living conditions without contact with their families. Maritime law and practice has long recognized that shore leave is essential for maintaining seafarers' mental and physical health. To cut down on the shore leave benefits, recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court as an "elemental necessity" to the well being of seafarers, will only increase problems of recruiting and retaining professional mariners.

Legal

Hapag-Lloyd Shareholders Okays Merger with UASC

Hamburg-based ocean carrier Hapag-Lloyd said its shareholders approved all items on the agenda at Annual General Meeting, mainly the  share capital increase needed

Yangzijiang Shipbuilding to Slash 2,000 More Jobs

Chinese shipbuilder Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Holdings Ltd said it plans to cut 2,000 additional jobs, just under 10 percent of its current workforce, stepping up

Australia Warns DCNS after Security Breach

Australian defence officials warned French naval contractor DCNS to beef up security in Australia, where it is preparing to build a A$50 billion ($38.13 billion) fleet of submarines,

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Port Authority Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.0726 sec (14 req/sec)