The Seamen Welfare & Emigration Directorate was created in 1971 by amalgamating three departments: “Directorate of Seamen’s Welfare’’, “Protector of Emigrants” and “National Employment Bureau” with a view to implementing the provision of the ILO Conventions for the purpose of promoting the welfare of persons engaged in earning valuable foreign exchange.
Now, the Seamen Welfare & Emigration Directorate is functioning for providing welfare services to seafarers and to advice the Government on measures to be taken for promoting welfare of seamen as per requirements of Maritime Labour Convention 2006. The Directorate is headed by a Director. It runs a Seamen’s Hostel headed by a Deputy Director, and two regional offices located at Chittagong and Mongla headed by two Assistant Directors. It also runs a drop in centre at Chittagong.
The main functions of the Directorate are as follows:
- To act as the administrative machinery for controlling, supervising and coordinating the welfare affairs of seamen at home and abroad.
- To secure necessary grants of money from the Government and the Seamen’s Welfare Fund for the welfare of the seamen.
- To recommend measures connected with maintenance of rosters, recruitment of seamen and general welfare facilities for seamen.
- To function as member (statutory) on different Committees such as, Seamen’s Employment Board, Seamen’s Disciplinary Committee, Seamen’s Promotion Committee, etc.
- To formulate plans and schemes for consideration of the Department of Shipping on all matters connected with employment and welfare of Bangladeshi seamen in Bangladesh and abroad.
- To visit ships calling at the Port of Chittagong and Mongla when there is dispute relating to provisions and stores, accommodation, water, medicines, etc.