Seafarers’ charity Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) has joined forces with the Santa Marta Group to tackle the issue of slavery at sea.
The organisations are organising a series of workshops aimed at educating and informing AoS chaplains, volunteers, port officials and police about slavery at sea and what can be done to protect and support seafarers and fishermen.
The first workshop took place in Tilbury Docks earlier this year, followed by Santos, Brazil in May. More workshops will be rolled-out at ports globally.
Speaking at an event on board HQS Wellington in London last week, President of the Santa Marta Group Cardinal Vincent Nichols said there were cases of seafarers and fishermen being effectively imprisoned on their ships, not paid their wages and held in a modern-day form of press-ganging and slavery.
Cardinal Nichols, who is the head of the Catholic Church in England & Wales also paid tribute to the work of AoS ahead of Sea Sunday which falls on July 8 this year.
Recalling his visit to Tilbury Docks in June 2015, he said, “It was a privilege to go to Tilbury and to see some of the work first-hand the Apostleship of the Sea do.
“It was wonderful to get the sense of how Apostleship of the Sea responds to the needs of seafarers, and I really do want to thank them,” he added.
As Sea Sunday approaches, the Cardinal urged continued support for AoS and its ministry. He paid tribute to all those who work for AoS and those who kindly give their time and support volunteering with the organisation.