The International Chamber of Shipping enumerated 1.5 million sailors working on merchant ships throughout the world in 2011. About 40% of them are officers. Two thirds of these workers were born in developing countries. The region of origin most represented was South-East Asia followed by OECD countries (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), Eastern Europe, the Indian subcontinent, South America and Africa. The 34 members of OECD are the main suppliers of Merchant Navy officers.
They are essentially employed by shipowners.
Welcoming sailors: an asset of Le Havre port
Outside of his work, and as a volunteer, Ronan enjoys acting as President of the AHAM (Le Havre Association for Welcoming Sailors) which he manages. For over thirty years that organization composed of over 100 members including 15 volunteers and employees have welcomed sailors during their stopovers. As soon as ships arrive in the port, volunteers and employees come to meet them to propose many services offered at the association premises. “They can find a relaxing area and we give them an opportunity to discuss with their family through Internet access and telephones. It is a crucial step for them, since we know sailors can spend 4 to 9 months on a ship and that communication means can often be expensive” explains Ronan. This essential association is supported by the whole port and seafaring world. In 2010 AHAM welcomed close to 11 0000 people coming from shipping carriers or liners.
Source: multiple Internet sources, specialized literature, testimonials (Pratic-Export, Pôle-emploi cards, Wikipedia, Onisep, CNRTL, Umep à la Page…)