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Key outcomes from Maritime Labour Convention's Special Tripartite Committee meeting (5-13 May 2022)
The Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006 came into force in August 2013 with an aim to ensure that seafarers are guaranteed equal and acceptable conditions no matter which flag they sail under.
Under one of the MLC provisions, delegates from member states, shipowners' representatives and seafarers' organizations meet periodically to review and update the convention.
The latest Special Tripartite Committee (STC) meeting ended in Geneva on 13 May 2022, and drawing lessons from the challenges of the pandemic, the delegates agreed on a number of changes to improve seafarers’ conditions. The agreed amendments will ensure that:
- seafarers have appropriately sized personal protective equipment, in particular to suit the increasing number of women seafarers;
- good quality drinking water is available free of charge for seafarers;
- States further facilitate the prompt repatriation of abandoned seafarers;
- States provide medical care for seafarers in need of immediate assistance and facilitate the repatriation of the remains of seafarers who have died on board;
- seafarers are provided with appropriate social connectivity by shipowners and States provide internet access in their ports;
- seafarers are informed of their rights relating to the obligation of recruitment and placement services to compensate seafarers for monetary losses; and
- all deaths of seafarers are recorded and reported annually to the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the relevant data is published.
The amendments will be presented for approval to the next session of the International Labour Conference, which will be held in May and June 2022. If approved, these amendments should enter into force by December 2024.
In addition to the amendments, the STC adopted a number of resolutions related to bullying and harassment of seafarers, including sexual assault and sexual harassment; the financial security system to protect seafarers in cases of abandonment and the need to adopt measures to ensure that all seafarers have adequate means of contractual redress against shipowners. For more information on the outcome of the meeting, please refer to the ILO’s website.
Members may also wish to refer to our previous circulars and notices on the MLC, which are available on our website.