Filipino seafarers, sailing the frozen seas of Finland

Ms Jonna Laine1

1University Of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland


Ninety percent of the global transport is made by ships and about 20% of the 1.5 million seafarers come from The Philippines. Their existence and their life stories are unknown to many outside the maritime industry, as nowadays the seafarers are not a common sight outside the ships and closed ports. In the Finnish vessels Filipino seafarers are fairly new phenomenon, as the mixed crew policy (a possibility for the ship owners to recruit crew members from outside the EU) was agreed in 2009. The Finnish seafarers have good and secured working conditions, but they work on board together with the Filipinos, who sign very different work contracts with lower salary and social benefits. I will discuss how these two groups of people from different backgrounds and cultures interact and cooperate in the vessels’ closed space. My focus is on the Filipinos, especially on their own stories and experiences

Laine, Jonna. PhD Student, University of Jyväskylä, Department of Anthropology and Ethnology. Research interests: Maritime history and maritime ethnology, Filipino seafarers.


Master of Arts (ethnology), University of Helsinki, Finland, 2016.

PhD student (ethnology and anthropology), University of Jyväskylä, Finland, from 2017.

Assistant researcher in project ‘Fair working conditions: exploring the contribution of cooperation initiativs between Social Partners and Labour Inspection authorities (SPLIN)’ University of Jyväskylä, ongoing.


The Institute of Australian Geographers (IAG) is the principal body representing geographers and promoting the study and application of geography in Australia. It was founded in 1958 and since then has promoted, supported and defended Australian geography.

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