Milestone Ratifications of Seafarers’ Labor Rights Charter

ILO press release
Monday, August 20, 2012

The ILO’s Maritime Labour Convention has now been ratified by 30 countries, meaning it will go into effect in a year’s time. The charter sets out the labour rights of the world’s 1.2 million seafarers.

The ILO has received the 30th ratification of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006) fulfilling the last condition for the first global standard that spans continents and oceans to go into effect in a year’s time. “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.”


The MLC, 2006 was adopted unanimously in 2006 but there were two requirements still to be met before it could come into force. The ratification by Russia and the Philippines fulfills the requirement that at least 30 ILO member countries ratify the Convention. The other requirement - that ratifying countries represent 33 percent of the world’s gross shipping tonnage - was met in 2009.


Under the MLC, 2006 every seafarer has the 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


The 30 countries represent nearly 60 percent of the shipping tonnage. This means that seafarers working on more than 50 per cent of the world’s international shipping will be covered by the new Convention. “This is a remarkable achievement,” Somavia said. “Not only are these first 30 ratifications drawn from almost every region of the world, but the tonnage level is nearly double the required amount.”


The MLC, 2006 establishes minimum requirements for almost all aspects of working conditions for seafarers including conditions of employment, hours of work and rest, accommodation, recreational facilities, food and catering, health protection, medical care, welfare and social security protection.


“Each State is tasked not only with ensuring that ships flying its flag meet the ‘decent work’ requirements set out in the Convention, but also with certifying that those ships comply with the requirements relating to labour conditions.” said Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, Director of the ILO’s International Labour Standards Department.


This certification will also facilitate inspections of ships. The Convention places great reliance on the system allowing for inspections to be carried out by other countries, known as port State control. There is also a mechanism which records seafarers’ complaints, as well as a reporting mechanism which spots failures no matter where a ship travels.


“The maritime labour inspection and certification system is a big step forward by the ILO in taking concrete and specific action to address the very serious problems that arise because of international ownership of ships and the inability of some countries to ensure that their ships meet international standards for quality shipping,” Doumbia-Henry said. She added that the industry has been active in implementing the MLC ever since it was adopted and often well ahead of the legal process for national ratification.


The following countries have ratified MLC, 2006

Liberia, 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, Russian Federation, Philippines.

When it comes into effect, the MLC, 2006 will replace 37 existing ILO maritime Conventions and related Recommendations adopted since 1920.

Maritime Today

The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter November 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Maritime Safety

Passengers Transferred from Stranded Ferry

Passengers were transferred from Indonesia-registered Sea Prince after the ferry struck a floating object after leaving the Nongsapura ferry terminal in Batam late on November 29.

RINA Launches Competence Management System Certification

International classification society RINA Services has launched a new Competence Management System certification which it says helps ship owners and managers to

Panama-Registered Ship Sinks off Vigan City

A Panamanian cargo vessel MV Fortune Life sank off the coast 130 nautical off Vigan City in Ilocos Sur, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), uthorities said.   The

Government Update

Opportunities for Growth as Chinese Economy Evolves

The global breakbulk and heavy-lift markets have had to navigate choppy waters in recent years.   Not necessarily due to a shortage of freight, but as a consequence of unsustainably low freight rates.

Trucks Carrying Turkish Exports Blocked at Russian Border

Around 1,250 trucks carrying Turkish exports have been blocked from entering Russia and are stranded at border posts awaiting clearance, a senior shipping industry

Indonesia Ferry Hits Trouble, 97 Rescued

Almost 100 people were rescued when a ferry sailing towards Singapore from the Indonesian island of Batam hit a floating object and reportedly started to sink, authorities in the city-state said.

Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.0752 sec (13 req/sec)