Iceland and Ethiopia have become the latest member states of the International Labour Organization (ILO) to ratify the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, as amended (MLC 2006), which sets out minimum international working and living conditions for seafarers on board ships. The MLC will enter into force for the latest signatories in 2020, one year after its ratification.
The International Group has recently published some further revised FAQs on the Maritime Labour Convention (2006). These FAQs reflect the experiences that Clubs have experienced in dealing with MLC matters. The entry into force of the 2014 amendments to MLC on 18 January 2017 raised a number of questions. These FAQs aim to provide help operators comply with the amendments.
Sophia Bullard, Crew Health Programme Director at UK P&I Club, provides her comments on how to address bullying and harassment on board ships. Ms. Bullard says that companies and management should be receptive to change and adopt a zero tolerance approach to deal with bullying and harassment at sea. In fact, during the last ten years, there is an increase on the focus regarding harassment in maritime.
Amended on three occasions since its entry into force in 2013 in order to keep up with the needs of the shipping sector, the MLC Convention has now been ratified by 90 member States representing more than 91% of the world merchant shipping fleet. The MLC, 2006 consolidates almost all previous maritime instruments adopted throughout the century.
The Isle of Man Ship Registry published a Maritime Labour Notice regarding the on-board complaint procedure required under MLC. The notice also includes a model complaints handling procedure that complies with the Isle of Man requirements. All Isle of Man registered ships to which MLC applies must have an onboard procedure for the fair and effective handling of seafarer complaints alleging breaches of MLC.
The second set of amendments to the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) for improving crew safety and welfare have entered into force, as of 8 January 2019. The amendments, agreed in 2016, are comprised of additions to the guidelines of Regulation 4.3. They cover health and safety protection and accident prevention.
Human rights at sea gains significant attention of the maritime community. Due to its diversified identity, shipping constitutes a friendly field for human rights abuses, with human trafficking, illegal migration, slavery and abuse in fishing sector and even the unsafe working conditions in many Southeast Asian ship recycling facilities being among the key areas of concern.
ICS and the International Transport Workers’ Federation have released new ‘Guidelines for implementing the Welfare aspects of the Maritime Labour Convention. MLC 2006 aims to ensure worldwide protection and enforcement of the rights of seafarers and to provide decent working and living conditions for seafarers.
The Kenyan government is looking to create a wage standard as well as regulations to protect Kenyan seafarers from exploitation by the international companies. Namely, Kenya will establish regulations for minimum wages to improve employment conditions.
Marshall Islands Maritime Administrator published a notice to ensure shipboard occupational health and safety programs. It also presents work restrictions that are considered as hazardous for seafarers under 18 years, according to the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006.
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