Currently over 1.2 million seafarers globally provide a unique and critical service to the world’s 6.7 billion citizens. The Asia-Pacific region supplies over 60 per cent of these seafarers and is the flag State for over 40 per cent of the world’s merchant shipping fleet. In the Pacific, economic development, trade and maritime transport are inextricably linked. However despite the critical role seafarers play in this, their opportunities for decent work are often limited.
Given the global nature of the shipping industry, there can be little doubt that seafarers need special protection. To address this, the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) 94th International Labour Conference adopted the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC, 2006) to help achieve the twin goals of ensuring a “level playing-field” for quality ship owners, while at the same time providing concrete measures to secure decent work for the world’s seafarers. The MLC also works to bring immediate relief to seafarers in situations of exploitation, through the seafarer complaint procedures it establishes.
In recognition of the important role played by Fiji and its seafarers in both the Pacific and global maritime sectors, the ILO will convene the Pacific Regional MLC, 2006 Tripartite Ratification Workshop in Nadi from 27 to 29 October 2010. This workshop will bring together 70 seafarers, ship owners and government labour and maritime officers from Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu to promote the ratification and implementation of the MLC, 2006 in the Pacific.
The workshop will be led by the ILO’s Director of International Labour Standards with technical support from leading experts in the maritime sector from Geneva, Bangkok, Australia and the Pacific. The ILO hopes that the commencement of MLC, 2006 implementation, which this workshop is expected to lead to, will truly make this year the year of the seafarer in the Pacific.
A press conference will be held on Wednesday 27 October 2010, 10.00–11.00 hours at the Novotel Hotel, Nadi.
For further information please contact:
Mr Peter Blumel
Tel: +679 331 3866, 995 2634