GENEVA (ILO News) – The Director of the International Labour Standards Department, Ms. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, received today the instrument of ratification of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006) from Mr. Wim Bel, Deputy Director for International Affairs of the Dutch Ministry for social Affairs and Employment. The Netherlands becomes the sixth EU member state, after Spain, Bulgaria, Denmark, Latvia and Luxembourg to ratify the landmark Maritime Labour Convention, 2006.
In receiving the instrument of ratification, Ms. Doumbia-Henry stated: “The ratification of the MLC, 2006, by The Netherlands reflects the country’s long standing maritime and hydraulic engineering tradition and its commitment to provide the world’s seafarers with fair working and living conditions while creating an equal level-playing field for shipowners. With the port of Rotterdam – the biggest port in Europe – The Netherlands is a major transportation hub which provides access through its waterways to the European hinterland. I am sure that the ratification will further strengthen the image of The Netherlands as a maritime nation and benefit its economy. In ratifying the MLC, 2006, The Netherlands becomes the sixth EU member State to implement the EU Council Decision of 2007 authorizing member States to ratify the MLC, 2006 in the interest of the European Community. This ratification proves that there is a strong momentum in Europe for the ratification and implementation of this significant instrument and signals to the remaining 21 EU members to come on board.”
In depositing the instrument of ratification, Mr. Bel stated: “The Netherlands with its long standing maritime and hydraulic engineering tradition has always been committed to a level playing field in the maritime sector and decent work for seafarers. Therefore, the Dutch government and social partners in the maritime sector have been working very closely together to ratify and implement this landmark convention, which will further strengthen the image of the Dutch Flag as a quality flag. Therefore I am very honoured to present this instrument of ratification to you.”
The Netherlands has approximately 1,300 vessels with a total tonnage of 6.9 million gross tons registered under its flag. The port of Rotterdam, the world’s fourth largest and the largest in Europe, plays a major role in the Dutch economy with an annual throughput of approximately 430 million tons.
With the ratification of the MLC, 2006 by The Netherlands, 21 ILO member States, representing over 55 per cent of the world gross tonnage of ships, are now parties to the Convention. Of the twenty-one ratifications, ten have been received in 2011 with the majority of these received in the last six months, which shows that national ratification efforts are now nearing completion in many countries in all regions. It is expected that the additional 9 ratifications will be obtained in the following three to six months making it possible for the MLC, 2006 to enter into force in early 2013.