The Panama Maritime Authority supported the proposals for amendments presented to the Maritime Labor Convention, aiming to improve the living and working conditions of seafarers.
total of twelve proposals were presented, of which eight were approved by the social partners that are part of the Special Tripartite Committee, two were withdrawn by the group that proposed them and two were postponed for discussion in the next Committee, to be held in 2025.
These proposed amendments grew out of lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic and their approval will ensure that:
- Seafarers have appropriately sized personal protective equipment, particularly to accommodate the growing number of women seafarers.
- Good quality drinking water available free of charge to seafarers.
- States further facilitate the prompt repatriation of abandoned seafarers.
- States provide medical care to seafarers in need of immediate assistance and facilitate the repatriation of the remains of seafarers who have died on board.
- Shipowners provide seafarers with adequate social connectivity and states provide internet access in their ports.
- Seafarers are informed of their rights in relation to the obligation of contracting services and compensation to seafarers for monetary losses.
- All deaths of seafarers are registered and reported annually to the ILO and the relevant data is published.
The amendments adopted by the Special Tripartite Committee will be presented for official approval at the next meeting of the International Labor Conference, which will take place from May 27 to June 11, 2022. If approved, they should enter into force in December 2024.
In addition, three resolutions related to:
- Intimidation and harassment of seafarers, including sexual assault and sexual harassment.
- The financial guarantee system to protect seafarers in case of abandonment.
- The need to adopt measures to ensure that all seafarers have adequate means of contractual redress against shipowners.
In the plenary sessions, Panama made clear its unconditional support to guarantee the recognition of the rights of seafarers who work on board its ships, exalting the responsibility of flag states and port governing states to achieve this end.
Panama also supported the amendment proposal to unify and establish the maximum period of service on board for seafarers.