Geneva: The International Labour Organisation’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.
MLC, 2006 will enter into force in August 2013, following the announcement that it has been ratified by 30 ILO Member States, the latest being Russia and the Philippines. The tonnage requirement of at least 33% gross tonnage has also been well exceeded and currently stands at just below 60%.
“This is great news for the world’s more than 1.2m 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.”
Dave Heindel, chair of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) Seafarers’ Section, commented: “The MLC – the seafarers’ bill of rights – is a genuine agent for real change. It has the potential to make a real difference to all seafarers, regardless of nationality or the flag of the ship on which they serve. Its entry into force will be the culmination of over 10 years of collective effort by the ILO social partners. At last, we will have a ‘one stop shop’ for labour standards which we are confident will be genuinely implemented and enforced on a global basis. It means that all seafarers should soon be able to enjoy comprehensive protection of their fundamental rights. It also means good employment practice across the industry so that responsible employers, as represented by ISF, are not disadvantaged by the irresponsible minority.” [21/08/12]