One of the main aims of the 2006 Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) is to provide comprehensive protection for seafarers’ rights. Although adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO), it touches on a wide range of areas that are also of direct relevance to IMO, such as hours of work and rest, entitlement to repatriation, abandonment of seafarers and safe manning.
IMO and ILO enjoy a long history of working together on seafarer issues and the latest example of this UN-system collaboration is a workshop underway in Lisbon, Portugal (18-20 February), organized together with the European Commission and the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). The workshop is helping all stakeholders, particularly, developing countries, build the capacity they need to ratify and implement the MLC. In this regard, IMO funded the participation at the workshop of thirteen developing countries.
A key objective of the workshop is to help strengthen and harmonize flag State compliance, as well as port State control, which is a vital mechanism for ensuring the provisions of the MLC are being properly implemented on board ships. Another is to address financial security and insurance obligations under the MLC, and encourage any deficiencies discovered to be properly reported through the appropriate channels. The role of the IMO World Maritime University, the International Maritime Law Institute and the ILO Training Centre in Turin, in supporting effective implementation, is also being highlighted.