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Singapore, First Asian country to ratify the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006)

Singapore has ratified the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006) with the full support of tripartite partners – the seafarer unions and the National Trades Union Congress, as well as the maritime industry and the Singapore National Employers Federation.

News | 15 June 2011

GENEVA (ILO News) – Singapore has ratified the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006) with the full support of tripartite partners – the seafarer unions and the National Trades Union Congress, as well as the maritime industry and the Singapore National Employers Federation. This was announced yesterday 14 June, by Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Manpower and Education Mr Hawazi Daipi, at the International Labour Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, and the instrument of ratification was deposited earlier today.

In submitting the instrument of ratification, Mr. LOH Khum Yean, Permanent Secretary of Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower, stated: “Singapore is pleased to ratify the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 with the full support of our tripartite partners. This is a significant step for Singapore, as we commit to applying the Convention’s provisions to Singapore-registered ships and ships that call at our ports, as well as to achieve decent working conditions for seafarers. As a responsible flag state, Singapore had actively participated in the discussions that led to the adoption of this important Convention, which consolidates and updates over 60 ILO Conventions and Recommendations. We look forward to it entering into force in due course.”

Mr LAM Yi Young, Chief Executive of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, said, “Seafarers play a critical role in enabling shipping, world trade and the world’s economy. As a responsible maritime nation, Singapore is committed to enhancing and looking after the wellbeing of seafarers. The ratification of the MLC, 2006 is part of this commitment.”

In receiving the instrument of ratification, Ms Cleopatra DOUMBIA-HENRY, Director of the ILO International Labour Standards Department, stated: “The ratification of the MLC, 2006, by Singapore, the world’s largest port State and one of the top ten flag States comes at a historic moment for our Organization as it celebrates the 100th Session of the International Labour Conference. This ratification sends a powerful signal to the global maritime community. Singapore is the first country of the Asian continent to have accepted the Seafarers’ Bill of Rights, and we all know how vital and important this continent is for maritime trade and the global economy. This strong expression of leadership by Singapore sends the right message to other countries to come on board to enable the worlds’ seafarers to benefit from this Bill of Rights and shipowners from a level-playing field.”

Singapore is ranked among the world’s top ten largest ship registries and is regarded as a reputable flag state in the world, renowned for its quality fleet, and backed by an efficient maritime administration. Singapore is also one of the busiest ports in the world.

With the ratification by Singapore of the MLC, 2006, 14 ILO member States have now ratified this important Convention, which sets out minimum standards and fair working conditions for seafarers worldwide. While the first requirement for entry into force of the Convention – coverage of 33 per cent of the world gross tonnage – has already been attained, Singapore’s ratification is an important step towards achieving the second requirement: 30 ratifying countries. It is expected that the additional 16 ratifications will be obtained before the end of 2011, indicating that the MLC, 2006 will enter into force in 2012.

For media queries, please contact:

Ministry of Manpower, Singapore

Mr Faizal Ali

Senior Manager, Corporate Communications

Tel.: (65)6449-6181; Mobile: (65)8323-1376; Email: faizal_ali@mom.gov.sg

Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore

Ms Serene Tan

Manager, Corporate Communications Department

Tel.: (65)6375-1603; Email: Serene_Tan@mpa.gov.sg

International Labour Organisation

Sophy Fisher

ILO Regional Information Officer for Asia and the Pacific

Tel.: 0041[0]79/558-6352; Email: fisher@ilo.org

Factsheet on Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006)

  • Singapore is one of the busiest ports in the world and also has one of the largest ship registries in the world. As a responsible flag state, the ratification of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006) is yet another demonstration of Singapore’s commitment towards ensuring good employment conditions for seafarers. Singapore is the first Asian country to do so.
  • The MLC, 2006 is a global instrument adopted by the ILO to provide for the rights and protection of seafarers at work. It establishes comprehensive minimum requirements for different aspects of working conditions for seafarers working on board ships, including conditions of employment, hours of work/rest, accommodation, recreational facilities, food and catering, health protection, medical care, welfare and social security protection. The Convention also establishes a compliance and enforcement mechanism based on inspection and certification of the seafarers’ working and living conditions.
  • The Convention will enter into force 12 months after it is ratified by at least 30 members with a total share in the world’s gross tonnage of ships of at least 33 per cent.

Tags: decent work, seafarer, working conditions, ILO conventions, international labour standards, sea transport, merchant marine

Regions and countries covered: Singapore

Unit responsible: International Labour Standards (NORMES)

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