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. These proposals include an amendment to the MLC Code.
Speaking at the meeting, Jan de Boer welcomed the discussions and expressed International Maritime Organization
(IMO)'s appreciation for previous amendments to the MLC (that came into force as of 18 January 2017), which better protect abandoned seafarers, and provide financial security for compensation to seafarers and their families in cases of seafarers' death or long-term disability.
de Boer also relayed concern expressed by the IMO Council
for innocent seafarers still in captivity, and highlighted the 2011 IMO Assembly Resolution on piracy and armed robbery against ships in waters off the coast of Somalia.
As part of the Resolution, the Assembly strongly urges Governments to keep relevant States informed about welfare measures for seafarers in captivity on ships entitled to fly their flag, as well as measures being taken for the early release of such seafarers and the status of payments of their wages.