David Heindel, chair of the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF), seafarers' section, said: “We are strongly behind the mandate issued by the Federal Transport Authority - Land and Maritime, for the financial protection of seafarers operating in the waters of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
"Basic rights are being violated on a daily basis by companies operating in this region who not only fail to pay wages, but also fail to provide safe working conditions and enough food and clean water for their seafarers.
"This mandate makes clear that ship owners must provide financial protection against abandonment, death or injury.
“This is a huge step forward in a region where, historically, ship owners have been allowed to repeatedly abuse the rights of seafarers. This has to stop and it has to stop now.”