The International Labour Organisation (ILO) said on Tuesday that Maritime Labour Convention, known as "MLC 2006," comes into force today (Tuesday), effectively becoming binding in international law.
The Convention will establish minimum working and living standards for all seafarers on ships. It will be an essential step toward ensuring fair competition and a level-playing field for quality owners of ships flying the flags of ratifying countries, said the ILO in a press release from its Headquarteres in Geneva.
Global support for ILO's Maritime Labour Convention continues to increase. Currently, the ILO has registered ratifications of the Convention by more than 40 ILO member States responsible for regulating conditions for seafarers on more than 75 per cent of the world's gross tonnage of ships. According to the ILO, the MLC2006 was adopted by government, employer and worker representatives at a special ILO's International Labour Conference, in February 2006, to provide international standards for the world's first genuinely global industry. Widely known as the "seafarers' bill of rights," it is unique in its effect on both seafarers and quality ship owners.
The comprehensive Convention sets out in one place seafarers' rights to decent conditions of work on almost every aspect of their working and living conditions including, among others, minimum age, employment agreements, hours of work or rest, payment of wages, paid annual leave, repatriation at the end of contract, onboard medical care, the use of licensed private recruitment and placement services, accommodation, food and catering, health and safety protection and accident prevention and seafarers' complaint handling, explained the ILO.