The ILO has received the 30th ratification of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006) fulfilling the last condition for the first global standard that spans continents and oceans to go into effect in a year’s time.
“This is great news for the world’s more than 1.2 million 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.”
The MLC, 2006 was adopted unanimously in 2006 but there were two requirements still to be met before it could come into force. The ratification by Russia and the Philippines fulfills the requirement that at least 30 ILO member countries ratify the Convention. The other requirement - that ratifying countries represent 33 percent of the world’s gross shipping tonnage - was met in 2009.
Under the MLC, 2006 every seafarer has the right to: A safe and secure workplace that complies with safety standards, Fair terms of employment, decent working and living conditions on board ship, Health protection, medical care, welfare measures and other forms of social protection
The 30 countries represent nearly 60 percent of the shipping tonnage. This means that seafarers working on more than 50 per cent of the world’s international shipping will be covered by the new Convention. “This is a remarkable achievement,” Somavia said. “Not only are these first 30 ratifications drawn from almost every region of the world, but the tonnage level is nearly double the required amount.”
The MLC, 2006 establishes minimum requirements for almost all aspects of working conditions for seafarers including conditions of employment, hours of work and rest, accommodation, recreational facilities, food and catering, health protection, medical care, welfare and social security protection.