GENEVA (ILO News) – On 19 September 2011, the Government of Luxembourg deposited with the International Labour Office the instruments of ratification of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006) and the Seafarers’ Identity Documents Convention (Revised), 2003 (No. 185). Luxembourg becomes the fifth EU member State, after Bulgaria, Denmark, Spain and Latvia, to ratify the MLC, 2006 and the 22nd member to ratify Convention No. 185.
In depositing the instruments of ratification, the Permanent representative of Luxembourg to the United Nations in Geneva, Ambassador Jean Feyder, stated: “By depositing both instruments, Luxembourg will have ratified 100 ILO Conventions since becoming a member in 1920 out of which 85 are in force today. We hope that without much further delay many other countries will ratify the MLC, 2006 enabling the Convention to produce its effect and promote global quality standards in worldwide shipping. The new Convention, already known, along with SOLAS, MARPOL and the STCW conventions, as the "fourth pillar" in a maritime regulatory regime is global in scope and ambition, providing a level playing field for shipowners in which all parts of the international shipping industry can work and prosper. Globe-girdling merchant vessels shall no longer stumble upon different standards and ambiguous interpretations as they move from port to port and between jurisdictions. The MLC can truly be described as one of the most ambitious Conventions ever, covering modern realities of working conditions onboard a 21st century ship”.
In welcoming Luxembourg’s ratifications, the Director of the International Labour Standards Department, Ms Doumbia-Henry, stated: “The ratifications of the MLC, 2006 and Convention No. 185 by Luxembourg reflect the country’s long-standing commitment to quality shipping and its determination to provide decent working and living conditions, including adequate protection of seafarers’ right to shore leave, for the persons employed on board its ships. Luxembourg, which took an active role in the negotiations that led to the adoption of the MLC, 2006, becomes the fifth EU member State to have followed the 2007 decision of the EU Council authorizing member States to ratify the MLC, 2006 in the interests of the European Community. This ratification sends a timely message to the remaining 22 EU member States that prompt action is needed to enable the world’s seafarers to benefit from this Bill of Rights and shipowners from a level-playing field.”
Since the 1990s, Luxembourg has expanded its fleet with 241 ships currently registered with the Luxembourg maritime public register. The fleet is diversified with actually an emphasis on dredgers and tug and supply vessels.
With the ratification of the MLC, 2006 by Luxembourg, 19 ILO member States, representing over 54 per cent of the world gross tonnage of ships, are now parties to this important Convention, which sets out minimum standards and fair working conditions for seafarers worldwide. It is expected that the additional 11 ratifications will be obtained before the end of this year making it possible for the MLC, 2006 to enter into force in 2012.