SAKTI : Two- Pronged-Approach On Improving Seafarers’welfare

Yesterday, coinciding with the International Maritime Day, ReAct had a fruitful discussion with Syofyan Koto, the Secretary General the Indonesian Transportation and Shipping Crew Union (SAKTI), to learn more about their work as well as to explore more areas of cooperation between ReAct and SAKTI. As a maritime nation with naval history spanning through millennia, Indonesia is home to more than 3 million seafarers who work on various vessels worldwide,1 from tiny sampans to oceangoing Capesize. The increasing numbers of Indonesian seafarers being recruited is also parallel with increasing numbers of issues they face. SAKTI was formed as a response to such issues, both home and abroad.  Despite being a relatively nascent organization established at the wake of COVID pandemic in 2020, SAKTI has handled numerous cases involving Indonesian seafarers, domestically and abroad, and non-Indonesian seafarers working in Indonesian waters, regardless of whether they are union members. So far, besides handling cases domestically in Indonesia, SAKTI has handled 37 major cases in far-flung jurisdictions spanning in three continents; Egypt, Gambia, Indonesia, Italy, Singapore, and South Korea. SAKTI credits its success to its global connection through the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), of which SAKTI is a member.  SAKTI believes that the advancement of seafarers’ welfare should be through a two-pronged approach; direct case intervention and advocacy to prevent the need to intervene in the first place. As such, their work are not limited to casework support; SAKTI is also involved in an advocacy campaign and an ongoing strategic litigation.


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