India to Ratify Seafarers’ Identity Document Convention

India has approved the ratification of the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Convention No. 185 on the Seafarers’ Identity Document (SID), aimed at providing the country’s 180,000 seafarers with increased security and better employment opportunities.

A biometric based seafarer’s identity document will be developed, mainly, to ensure a foolproof security system to ward off the potential risk of breach of security and possible terrorist attacks.

The proposed SID has provisions for bar coding of the biometrics based identity of seafarers and a centralized data base maintained in the issuing country, which can be accessed globally through an inter-operable and standard biometric template.

Indian seafarers with an SID will be able to have unrestrictive movement in foreign shores during leave, get recognition as identified seafarers in the global market and have access to job opportunities in the global maritime sector.

The SID project is proposed to be taken up in collaboration with the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC).

The issuance of the SID involves the collection of biometric and demographic details of seafarers, their verification and then issuance of SID to them.

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