International Labour Organization News

28 Oct 2019

UN to Combat IUU Fishing

Pic: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

A Joint Working Group (JWG) of three UN agencies – the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) - met in Torremolinos, Spain, to address illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing (23-25 October).IUU fishing refers to fishing which is carried out without proper authorization. This can undermine national, regional and global efforts to conserve and manage fish stocks and result in poor safety and working conditions for fishers.

28 Aug 2019

World’s First: India Intros Facial Bio-Metric SID

Pic: PIB

India has become the first country in the world to issue Bio-metric Seafarer Identity Document (BSID), capturing the facial bio-metric data of seafarers.Mansukh Mandaviya, the Minister of Shipping launched the project in New Delhi yesterday (August 28). He also handed over the new BSID cards to five Indian seafarers.The new facial biometric technology is a marked improvement over the two finger or iris based bio-metric data, with modern security features. It will make the identification of the SID holder more reliable and efficient, while protecting their dignity and privacy.

17 Jul 2019

Germany Joins Hong Kong Convention

Pics: International Maritime Organization

Germany is the latest country to accede to International Maritime Organization (IMO)'s treaty for safe and environmentally-sound ship recycling – the Hong Kong Convention.The Convention covers the design, construction, operation and maintenance of ships, and preparation for ship recycling in order to facilitate safe and environmentally sound recycling, without compromising the safety and operational efficiency of ships.Under the treaty, ships to be sent for recycling are required to carry an inventory of hazardous materials, specific to each ship.

07 Jul 2019

UK Addresses Dangers of Weighted Heaving Lines

Pic: British Ports Association

The UK maritime industry is taking a leading stand in the fight against the illegal use of Dangerously Weighted Heaving Lines (DWHLs) in UK ports and harbors, an issue spanning the shipping and ports sectors, said British Ports Association (BPA).To coincide with the Department for Transport’s important Maritime Safety Week 2019, #maritimesafetyweek, the British Ports Association, British Tugowners Association, Port Skills and Safety, UK Chamber of Shipping, UK Major Ports Group…

27 Mar 2019

IMO to Address Illicit Ship Registration

Pic: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

The legal committee of International Maritime Organization (IMO) will discuss a number of proposed measures to prevent fraudulent registration of ships and other deceptive shipping practices, during its 106th session (27-29 March).According to the UN body, this follows reports of fraudulent use of their flag by a number of IMO Member States.Amongst other agenda items, the Committee will consider the growing number of cases of seafarer abandonment and the orchestrated action needed…

07 Dec 2018

International Maritime Prize Goes to Birgit Sølling Olsen

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

The prestigious International Maritime Prize for 2017 has been presented to Mrs. Birgit Sølling Olsen, former Deputy Director-General of the Danish Maritime Authority.International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary-General Kitack Lim presented the prize on Thursday (6 December) at the annual IMO Awards ceremony,“Mrs. Olsen has had a distinguished career in the maritime field and made an outstanding contribution to the objectives of IMO. Her comprehensive knowledge of maritime law is combined with a deep understanding of the business aspects and growth potential of the maritime industry…

18 Nov 2018

Caribbean Ship Inspector Training course Held

Pic: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Performing a vessel inspection is an important task. Inspections by flag and port States are key to keeping ship standards high and in turn reducing accidents and pollution to the maritime environment.To maintain a high level of safety in the region, a Regional Caribbean Ship Inspector Training course (CASIT) (29 October – 16 November) has been held in Trinidad and Tobago, said a press release from International Maritime Organization (IMO).The objective of the course is to prepare ship surveyors to be able to work in a Caribbean maritime administration.

09 Nov 2018

Strengthening Role of Women in Fisheries

Pic:  International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Fishing is one of the world's most dangerous professions. But many people rely on the fishing industry for their livelihoods, especially women who often face difficult conditions.According to a press note from  International Maritime Organization (IMO), women are present in all the activities of the fisheries and aquaculture sectors.During the first International Conference of Women in Fisheries, held in Santiago de Compostela, Spain (5 - 7 November), IMO delivered a presentation on its Women in Maritime gender programme.IMO highlighted how…

16 Oct 2018

New Study on Autonomous Ships and Role of Seafarers by ICS

Pic: International Chamber of Shipping

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has released a new study conducted by the Hamburg School of Business Administration (HSBA) on behalf of ICS, regarding the potential effects of autonomous ships on the role of seafarers and the global shipping industry.In light of growing media interest and the diversity of expert opinions on the subject, the study seeks to separate fact from fiction.Commenting on its release, ICS Secretary General, Guy Platten said: “The two-year IMO…

11 Jul 2018

IMO’s Cape Town Agreement on Protecting Fishers’ Lives

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

International Maritime Organization (IMO)'s Cape Town Agreement on fishing vessel safety needs to be ratified and implemented in order to save fishers’ lives. This key message was reiterated by IMO’s Sandra Allnutt during the UN Food and Agriculture (FAO) Committee on Fisheries (COFI 2018) meeting in Rome, Italy (9-13 July). The 2012 Cape Town Agreement is aimed at facilitating better control of fishing vessel safety by flag, port and coastal States. The Agreement currently has 10 Contracting States, but needs 22 for entry into force, along with a required number of aggregate fishing vessels.

15 Jun 2018

FAO on Fishing Vessel Safety Work

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

While exact figures are hard to come by, preliminary, conservative estimates of fatalities in fishing are now over 32 000 people annually. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says that the number of fishers injured or suffering from work-related illnesses are much higher. Fatalities and accidents have major impacts on fishers' families, fishing crews and fishing communities. These stark figures provided the background to talks at the Fifth International Fishing Industry Safety & Health Conference (iFish5) (10–13 June), in St. John’s, Canada.

16 May 2018

Interview: Kitack Lim, Secretary-General, IMO

Kitack Lim, Secretary-General, IMO. Photo: IMO

As the International Maritime Organization (IMO) celebrates its 70th anniversary, Kitack Lim, Secretary-General, sits in his London office with a sense of satisfaction that in his two plus years at the helm of IMO tremendous strides have been made toward significant greenhouse gas emission reductions, punctuated by the recent MEPC meeting where the target was set for a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050. But the Secretary- General’s sense of satisfaction is tempered with the fact that his job has just begun and his plate is full.

22 Mar 2018

Philippines Focus on Fisheries Sector

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), fishing at sea is probably the most dangerous occupation in the world. To address this issue, a two-day regional seminar, "Joining forces in the fisheries sector: promoting safety, decent work and the fight against Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU)", has been held (21-22 March) in Manila, Philippines. International Maritime Organization (IMO)'s Sandra Allnutt, Head of Marine Technology, delivered a presentation on IMO's work in promoting safety at sea.

13 Dec 2017

IMO Support for Ship Recycling in Bangladesh

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

The second phase of an International Maritime Organization (IMO)-implemented project to enhance safe and environmentally sound ship recycling in Bangladesh is set to begin in January, following a US$1.1 million funding agreement with Norway. The two-year project will build on the first phase of the Safe and Environmentally Sound Ship Recycling in Bangladesh (SENSREC) project, which resulted in economic and environmental studies on ship recycling in Bangladesh, the development…

06 Nov 2017

Port State Control Regimes Move to Boost Collaboration

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

The port State control regimes which carry out inspections on ships to monitor and enforce compliance with international regulations have pledged to strengthen their collaboration with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and amongst themselves. A recent workshop (24-26 October) for port State control (PSC) MoU/Agreement Secretaries and Database Managers and Member States, the seventh of its kind, was held at IMO headquarters in London, United Kingdom. Participants shared experiences…

26 Oct 2017

IMO Promotes Fishing Vessel Safety

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

When it comes to fishing vessel safety, the mission is clear, says Sandra Allnutt of the International Maritime Organization (IMO): enhance safety to save lives. “We want to reduce loss of life in one of the most dangerous professions in the world, and we want to enhance safety on board fishing vessels,” said Ms Allnutt, Head of Maritime Technology in IMO’s Maritime Safety Division, following a regional seminar, in Cape Town, South Africa, to promote ratification and implementation of a key fishing vessel safety treaty known as the Cape Town Agreement of 2012.

25 Sep 2017

Implementation of Standards On Board Ships Matters

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Once technical standards have been developed by IMO and adopted into national laws, the next step is implementation on board ships. This is the role of both flag States, who issue surveys and certificates, as well as port States, who can inspect all ships in their ports. The Sub-Committee on Implementation of IMO Instruments, meeting this week for its fourth session (III 4, 25-29 September) provides a forum where all matters relating to implementation are discussed. This week’s agenda includes the finalization of revised and updated Procedures for Port State Control…

23 Jun 2017

Abandonment of Seafarers on Agenda

Photo:  International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Seafarer abandonment was the subject of a seminar held at  International Maritime Organization (IMO) Headquarters, London (22 June) – a joint IMO-Consular Corps of London event. Diplomats and consular officers involved in dealing with abandonment cases heard speakers provide a variety of perspectives on the subject, including on the legal framework, seafarer support, the representation of seafarers' interests, and the flag State perspective. Click for photos. In his opening remarks…

18 Jan 2017

IMO Welcomes Financial Security Obligations for Seafarers

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary-General Kitack Lim has welcomed the entry into force today (18 January) of new obligations under the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC 2006) which require shipowners to have compulsory insurance to cover abandonment of seafarers, as well as claims for death or long-term disability of seafarers. The 2014 amendments to the MLC 2006, which comes under the auspices of the International Labour Organization (ILO), are based on guidelines which were developed by a joint IMO/ILO working group…

06 Apr 2017

Protecting Captive Seafarers’ Wages

Pic: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

The issue of protecting captive seafarers' wages is on the agenda at an International Labour Organization (ILO) meeting in Geneva, Switzerland (3-5 April). IMO has taken part in the ILO Working Group of the Special Tripartite Committee, established under the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) – the international treaty covering minimum working and living standards for seafarers. The Group is considering proposals on the protection of a seafarer's wages when the seafarer is held captive, on or off the ship, as a result of acts such as piracy or armed robbery against ships.

14 Apr 2016

ILO Minimum Wage for Seafarers to Stay at $614

Photo:  International Chamber of Shipping

The recommended International Labour Organization (ILO) Minimum Wage for Able Seafarers will remain at its current level of US$ 614 basic pay per month until at least 2018. This follows an ILO Joint Maritime Commission (JMC) meeting held in Geneva last week, comprising representatives of maritime employers co-ordinated by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and seafarers’ unions co-ordinated by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF). ICS, in its role as an official ILO social partner…

21 Jun 2017

Looking Beyond Maritime Security

Pic: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Economic stability and sustainable development can be driven by an integrated approach to the maritime sector, including ports, maritime security and facilitation of maritime traffic. Joined-up government policies covering the whole of the maritime sector are critical for the port sector to flourish. These were among key messages delivered by International Maritime Organization (IMO)'s Chris Trelawny, who was speaking at the Port Security Technology conference, London, United Kingdom (20 June)…

17 Oct 2016

Facing Criticism, Maersk Defends Its Shipbreaking Practices

Photo: © S Rahman / NGO Shipbreaking Platform

Shipping conglomerate A.P. Moller-Maersk said on Monday it was striving to improve workers' rights at shipbreaking yards it uses in India after criticisms of hazardous conditions. The Danish company also expressed regret that a ship it sold this year, the "North Sea Producer", had then been taken to a shipbreaking yard in Bangladesh, after Danish media last week showed workers using precarious rope ladders to climb the hull. Most shipping companies send old ships to shipbreaking yards in India…

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