The shipping sector amends the Maritime Labour Convention to enhance the working conditions of sailors.
Taking lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic, stakeholders in the worldwide maritime sector have amended the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC 2006) to enhance seafarers’ living and working conditions of sailors.
With the goal of enhancing the living and working conditions of the world’s seafarers, governments, and shipowners from the global shipping sector have agreed to eight revisions to the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC, 2006), as amended.
More than 500 delegates from the 2006 Special Tripartite Meeting of the MLC convened in hybrid style from May 5 to 13, 2022. They agreed on amendments that will ensure:
- seafarers have appropriately-sized personal protective equipment, in particular, to suit the increasing number of women seafarers;
- good quality drinking water is available free of charge for seafarers;
- States further facilitate the prompt repatriation of abandoned seafarers;
- States provide medical care for seafarers in need of immediate assistance and facilitate the repatriation of the remains of seafarers who have died on board;
- seafarers are provided with appropriate social connectivity by shipowners and States provide internet access in their ports;
- seafarers are informed of their rights relating to the obligation of recruitment and placement services to compensate seafarers for monetary losses; and
- all deaths of seafarers are recorded and reported annually to the ILO and the relevant data is published.
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The revisions will be offered for ratification at the International Labour Conference’s next session, which will be placed in May and June 2022. If granted, they will go into effect in December 2024.
In addition to the amendments, the Special Tripartite Committee adopted a number of resolutions concerning seafarer bullying and harassment, including sexual assault and sexual harassment; the financial security system to protect seafarers in cases of abandonment; and the need to adopt measures to ensure that all seafarers have adequate contractual redress against shipowners.