ILO's Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, on agenda of the Bahamas International Maritime Conference

News | 03 February 2011
The International Labour Organization's Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, will be among the issues to be discussed at the Bahamas International Maritime Conference and Trade Show to be held on 2-4 February 2011 at the Our Lucaya Beach & Golf Resort in Freeport, Grand Bahama.

The Conference will be held under the theme "The Mariner: Building on the Year of the Seafarer."

The Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006) was adopted by the International Labour Conference at its 94th (Maritime) Session in February 2006 and it aims to achieve decent work for seafarers and to secure a level-playing field for quality shipowners with strong protection against unfair competition from substandard ships. The Bahamas was the first country to ratify the MLC, 2006 in February 2008. Another Caribbean country, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, has also ratified the MLC, 2006 in November 2010. As of today the Convention has been ratified by eleven countries representing 48 per cent of the world gross tonnage of ships, thus meeting one of the two conditions for its entry into force. Nineteen more ratifications must be obtained to achieve the entry into force formula.

The Conference will seek to discuss implementation and compliance with the MLC, 2006 as well as the certification process.

Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, Director of the International Labour Standards Department, ILO, Geneva will deliver the keynote address at the closing ceremony on 4 February 2011.

Aimed at protecting the world's 1.2 million or more seafarers, the MLC, 2006 addresses the evolving realities and needs of an industry that handles 90 per cent of international trade. It is the "fourth pillar" in international shipping regulation, complementing the major maritime Conventions of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) on ship safety and security, and environmental protection.
The MLC, 2006 sets minimum requirements for seafarers to work on a ship and contains provisions on almost every aspect of working life including minimum age, medical fitness, conditions of employment, repatriation, hours of work and rest, leave, wages, accommodation, recreational facilities, food and catering, medical care, occupational safety and health, access to onshore welfare facilities and social security. It also establishes a strong compliance and enforcement mechanism based on flag State inspection of all ships and a requirement for certification for ships of 500 GT and above engaged in international voyages or voyages from or between foreign ports.