Filipino Seafarers’ Right to Refuse Sailing in High-Risk Areas: DMW Guidelines

The Department of Migrant Workers urges licensed manning agencies and principals to implement guidelines for Filipino seafarers exercising their "Right to Refuse Sailing" in High-Risk Areas. Seafarers must be informed of risks and provided with Anti-Piracy Awareness Training. Safe repatriation and non-discrimination are emphasized, with formalized refusal processes in place.
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The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) is urging licensed manning agencies and accredited principals/employers to strictly implement guidelines for Filipino seafarers who want to exercise their “Right to Refuse Sailing” in High-Risk Areas and War-Like Zones. These guidelines, outlined in Department Order No. 1 – 2024, require LMAs and principals to ensure seafarers are informed about the risks before deployment and provide Anti-Piracy Awareness Training.

LMAs and principals must inform seafarers of scheduled passages to high-risk areas and their rights and entitlements if they choose not to sail. Seafarers invoking their right to refuse sailing in these zones should be repatriated immediately and without discrimination. The guidelines also include a “Confirmation of Refusal” form that seafarers can access on the DMW website and submit directly to the department.

The International Bargaining Forum has designated the southern Red Sea and Gulf of Aden as war-like zones, prompting the DMW to emphasize the importance of seafarers’ safety and rights. LMAs and principals are required to report seafarers’ decisions to not sail in these zones to the DMW within 24 hours, along with updates on their repatriation. The DMW is ensuring that seafarers have the information and support they need to make informed decisions about their safety while at sea.

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