Asia-Pacific - A Regional Dialogue on the Maritime Labour Convention

The ILO,the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is working to strengthen regional cooperation on the adoption, implementation, consistent application and enforcement of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006) across the region by hosting Asia-Pacific - A Regional Dialogue on the Maritime Labour Convention from 3 to 6 May 2011, in Cairns, Australia.

The ILO, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is working to strengthen regional cooperation on the adoption, implementation, consistent application and enforcement of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006) across the region by hosting Asia-Pacific - A Regional Dialogue on the Maritime Labour Convention from 3-6 May 2011, in Cairns, Australia.

Participants will benefit from an exchange of views and information on the steps taken in the region to implement the MLC, 2006 challenges to implementation, identification of urgent matters requiring attention and possible avenues for technical cooperation.

The Asia-Pacific region supplies more than 60 per cent of the 1.2 million world’s seafarers and is the flag State for more than 40 per cent of the world’s merchant shipping fleet. In the regional economic development, trade and maritime transport are inextricably linked. However despite the critical role of seafarers, their opportunities for decent work are often limited.

Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, Director of the International Labour Standards Department, ILO, Geneva will deliver the keynote address at the Conference, giving an overview of the MLC, 2006, the progress towards implementation and emerging issues.

The Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 was adopted by the International Labour Conference at its 94th (Maritime) Session in February 2006 and it aims to achieve decent work for seafarers and to secure a level-playing field for quality shipowners with strong protection against unfair competition from substandard ships. Currently the Convention has been ratified by twelve countries representing more than 48 per cent of the world gross tonnage of ships, thus meeting one of the two conditions for its entry into force. Eighteen more ratifications must be obtained to achieve the entry into force formula.

Aimed at protecting the world's 1.2 million or more seafarers, the MLC, 2006 addresses the evolving realities and needs of an industry that handles 90 per cent of international trade. It is the "fourth pillar" in international shipping regulation, complementing the major maritime Conventions of the IMO on ship safety and security, and environmental protection.

The MLC, 2006 sets minimum requirements for seafarers to work on a ship and contains provisions on almost every aspect of working life including minimum age, medical fitness, conditions of employment, repatriation, hours of work and rest, leave, wages, accommodation, recreational facilities, food and catering, medical care, occupational safety and health, access to onshore welfare facilities and social security. It also establishes a strong compliance and enforcement mechanism based on flag State inspection of all ships and a requirement for certification for ships of 500 GT and above engaged in international voyages or voyages from or between foreign ports.

For more information on the meeting: http://www.amsa.gov.au/MLC/mlc_agenda.pdf

More information on the Maritime Labour Convention: /global/standards/maritime-labour-convention/lang--en/index.htm