Maritime Labour Convention Ratified

With Russia and the Philippines ratifying it, the required 30 ILO member countries have done so. It will take effect a year from now.

The Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 soon will be in force as the first global standard safe and secure working conditions for mariners. The International Labour Organization announced it has received the 30th ratification from a member state –- Russia and the Philippines were the two to ratify it most recently – required to allow it to come into force one year from now.

It will replace 37 existing ILO maritime conventions and recommendations adopted during the past 90 years. MLC, 2006 says every seafarer has a right to:

  • A safe and secure workplace that complies with safety standards
  • Fair terms of employment
  • Decent working and living conditions on board ship
  • Health protection, medical care, welfare measures, and other forms of social protection

"This is great news for the world's more than 1.2 million seafarers," said ILO Director General Juan Somavia. "It was a dream of the ILO as early as 1920, and I pay tribute to the international maritime community for having made it a reality."

"Alongside IMO's main international treaties covering safety and security, prevention of pollution, and training of seafarers," said Dr. Rosalie Balkin, assistant secretary-general and director of the Legal Affairs and External Relations Division of the International Maritime Organization, "the MLC Convention represents the 'fourth pillar' of maritime regulation covering international shipping, which transports more than 90 percent of world trade and on which we all rely."

(The other three pillars to which she referred are IMO's International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), and the International Convention for the Training, Certification and Watchkeeping of Seafarers.)

Liberia, the Marshall Islands, Bahamas, Panama, Norway, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Spain, Croatia, Bulgaria , Canada, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Switzerland, Benin, Singapore, Denmark, Antigua and Barbuda, Latvia, Luxembourg, Kiribati, Netherlands, Australia, St Kitts and Nevis, Tuvalu, Togo, Poland, Palau, Sweden, Cyprus, the Russian Federation, and the Philippines have ratified MLC, 2006.

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