On March 29, the chairman of the Nederlandse Zeevarendencentrale, the NZC, presented a research report to the Director General of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. The research was carried out by Erasmus University and investigated the welfare needs of seafarers. The research showed that seafarers in Dutch ports need port-based seafarers’ welfare assistance while in port. For this reason, it is also important that seafarers’ centres can continue to do their work and that sufficient funding remains in place.
Lack of facilities: Dutch welfare work for seafarers under financial pressure
On 29 March, the board of the Nederlandse Zeevarendencentrale (NZC) will present the report “Facilities and financing needs for seafarers’ welfare in Dutch seaports” to Deputy Minister Harbers of Infrastructure and Water Management. The report was drawn up by researchers from Erasmus University at the request of the NZC.*
There are two main conclusions. The seafarers’ centres fulfil an extremely valuable function. In addition, it appears that the welfare facilities for seafarers in the Dutch seaports are structurally under pressure and are weakened.
For example, the one million seafarers who visit Dutch seaports cannot all go ashore, though they indicate that they would like to. The fact that it is not possible is due to cumbersome safety regulations, time pressure and fatigue. Equally important is that in a number of port areas there are no facilities such as a seafarers’ centre and a bus service is simply missing or not sufficient. This is true, for example, in Rotterdam.
The report also states that things are regulated differently in neighbouring countries. In the ports of Hamburg and Antwerp, governments and companies work together. The result is structural financing of welfare services.
The motivation for this Report is the Postma motion, which was adopted almost across the House on 19 November 2020. The motion was based on a petition from the NZC. In the Netherlands, the NZC has been committed to the well-being of seafarers in Dutch ports for 130 years. The NZC wants to enter into consultations as soon as possible with the parties involved, such as port companies and other maritime stakeholders, including national and local authorities, to improve the well-being of seafarers in the Netherlands.
*Researchers: Maurice Jansen MSc and Hannah Mosmans MSc Erasmus University. Erasmus Centre for Urban, Port and Transport Economics
Download the original Report in Dutch here.————————————————————————————————————
Interested parties can request comment on the report from:
Board member, Stichting Nederlandse Zeevarenden Centrale