A new United Nations maritime labour convention – hailed as a “bill of rights” for the more than 1.5 million people employed by the shipping industry has come into force .
It aims at ensuring decent work conditions for seafarers while helping provide a level playing field for shipowners.
The UN International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Maritime Labour Convention (MLC 2006) ratified by 48 countries, sets minimum requirements for seafarers to work on a ship and contains provisions on conditions of employment, hours of work and rest, accommodation, recreational facilities, food and catering, health and medical care and welfare and social security protection.
“I call on all countries with a maritime interest to ratify – if they have not yet done so – and urge Governments and shipowners to work effectively to implement this Convention,” ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said in a statement.
“This Convention is a milestone in maritime history,” added Mr. Ryder, noting that, as the end result of tripartite dialogue and international cooperation, “it enables decent working and living conditions for seafarers to be advanced, along with fair competition for shipowners in this, the most globalized of industries.”
The MLC 2006 needed ratification by 30 ILO member States, representing more than 33 per cent of the world’s gross shipping tonnage, to enter into force.