SUVA (ILO News) – On 13 February 2012, the Government of Tuvalu deposited with the International Labour Office the instrument of ratification of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006). Tuvalu, which became an ILO member in 2008, is the fifth member State from the Asia-Pacific region – after Australia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands and Singapore – to have ratified the landmark Maritime Labour Convention, 2006.
Tuvalu has traditionally been a labour-supplying country for the international maritime industry with the Tuvalu Maritime Training Institute offering quality training for those seeking seafaring employment. Tuvaluan seafarers also make a significant contribution to the national economy as an estimated 75 per cent of their wages are returned to the country in remittances.
In communicating the instrument of ratification, Hon. Mr Apisai Ielemia, Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Trade, Tourism, Environment & Labour Government of Tuvalu stated: "The Maritime industry specifically seafaring is very important to Tuvalu because it contribute to the economy of our small island state. Therefore the submission of our ratification to the MLC 2006 defines the support that the Tuvalu Government render to improve this industry".
In receiving the instrument of ratification, Ms. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, Director of the International Labour Standards Department, stated: “I am particularly delighted to welcome Tuvalu, one of the youngest ILO Member States, among the first 30 nations that will allow the MLC, 2006 to enter into force. This is all the more important as the MLC, 2006 happens to be the first ILO Convention to have been ratified by Tuvalu since it joined the Organization in 2008. Tuvalu participated in the Pacific Regional Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 Tripartite Workshop in October 2010 in Fiji. This ratification is indicative of the Government’s commitment to align its labour laws with international labour standards, and the ILO stands ready to offer assistance to ensure the effective implementation of the Convention and to pave the way for the ratification by the country of the ILO fundamental Conventions.”
With the ratification of the MLC, 2006 by Tuvalu, 23 ILO member States, representing over 56 per cent of the world gross tonnage of ships, are now parties to the Convention. It is expected that the MLC, 2006 will receive the 30 ratifications required for its entry into force in the first half of 2012 and thus will become effective in 2013.
For more information contact: Caroline Scott