How to create a national seafarers’ welfare board | ISWAN

How to create a national welfare board (NWB)

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This is a guide to help you create a national welfare board (NWB) to support seafarer’s welfare in your area. This guide includes advice, examples and documents you can use to set-up a new national welfare board, or to organise or assist an existing NWB.
We also have a guide to help you create a port welfare committee (PWC).

What is a national seafarers’ welfare board?

A national seafarer’s welfare board is…

  • the organisation that represents the interests of seafarer’s welfare on a national level
  • the organisation that coordinates issues concerning seafarer’s welfare within that nation
  • a forum for discussion and the promotion of joint ventures
  • a central organisation that coordinates port welfare committees

A national welfare board (NWB) should be an independent and impartial organisation, not connected to any businesses or political parties. NWBs act as a central hub that coordinates and connects the activities of all members. NWBs also have the job of improving the provision of welfare for seafarers.

What do national welfare boards do?

National Welfare Boards undertake many different activities, dependent on their local circumstances. These may include:

  • encouraging the development of port welfare committees
  • working with allies to lobby for improved seafarer visibility and welfare provision
  • collecting and disseminating information
  • co-ordinating the activities of port welfare committees
  • encouraging ship owners, port authorities, unions, and welfare organisations to work in partnership
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