Maritime Labour Convention, 2006

Ukraine on the way to join ILO’s Seafarer’s Bill of Rights

Ukraine is among the top four countries supplying maritime workers on ships around the globe. Last week, the Ukrainian government made an important step towards ratifying the ILO flagship Convention guaranteeing minimum working standards for all seafarers. On July 23, ILO handed over a detailed legal feasibility study to the Minister of Infrastructure on what is needed to ratify ILO's Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC) on quality shipping.

News | 28 July 2021


The MLC ensures comprehensive worldwide protection of the rights of seafarers. The Convention regulates terms of fair recruitment and placement practices, employment and working conditions, occupational safety and health, social protection, repatriation and abandonment. Under the Convention, every seafarer has the right to a safe and secure workplace that complies with safety standards; fair terms of employment; decent working and living conditions on board of ships; health protection, medical care and welfare measures.

The Convention is also an essential step forward in ensuring a level-playing field for countries and ship owners who, until now, have paid the price of being undercut by those who operate substandard ships. It is unique in that it aims both to achieve decent work for seafarers, and to secure economic interests through fair competition for quality ship owners.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Infrastructure asked the ILO for a detailed legal analysis on what is needed to ratify the convention.. It takes stock of the legal gaps and offers national regulatory solutions so that Ukraine can effectively comply with the Maritime Labour Convention. This document is key for Ukraine in stepping forward with the ratification of this instrument.  Ukraine is an important player in the global maritime industry: it is at the same time a Port State, a Flag State and a Seafarers’ supplying country. Over 150,000 Ukrainian seafarers represent the world’s fourth largest labour force in the maritime industry, and bring home about U$2 billion annually thus contributing to the Ukrainian economy.

“Ukrainian seafarers need protection: The ILO-IMO abandoned seafarer database reports 150 abandoned Ukrainian seafarers accounting for 13.0% of stranded maritime workers around the globe.” - said Sergiy Savchuk, ILO National Coordinator for Ukraine.

“We hope that this comprehensive analysis done by the ILO will be instrumental for the Ministry to complete the ratification of the MLC”, added Osnat Lubrani, UN Resident Coordinator in Ukraine when handing over the ILO legal gap analysis to the Minister of Infrastructure.
“We are aiming to make sure that 150.000 seafarers in Ukraine enjoy effective services and protection from the State.”
Oleksander Kubrakov, Minister of Infrastructure
Oleksander Kubrakov, Minister of Infrastructure confirmed the Government’s commitment to proceed with the ratification without delay. “We are aiming to make sure that 150.000 seafarers in Ukraine enjoy effective services and protection from the State”, said the Minister.

The ILO Maritime Labour Convention from 2006 has been ratified by 98 countries until today, including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia from Central and Eastern Europe.