Maritime Labour Convention

Myanmar becomes the 75th State to ratify the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006

The ILO and Myanmar make history with the ratification of a key Convention

News | 26 May 2016
GENEVA (ILO News) – The Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar has deposited with the International Labour Office the instrument of ratification of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006). In so doing, Myanmar becomes the 75th ILO member State to ratify the Convention, a significant milestone for the MLC, 2006. It is also significant that the instrument has been signed by Aung San Suu Kyi, the Union Minister for Foreign Affairs.

The ratification of the MLC, 2006 by Myanmar comes at a significant point in the history of relations between the Republic and the ILO. To date, the country has ratified three of the eight fundamental ILO Conventions: on Forced Labour (C29); on Freedom of Association and Right to Organise (C87); and on the Worst Forms of Child Labour (C182), ratified in 2013.

In depositing the instrument of ratification, the Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva, Mr. Maung WAI, stated: “It is a great honour for me to present, on behalf of the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the instrument of ratification of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006. Myanmar is pleased to ratify this landmark Convention, bearing in mind the safety and wellbeing of seafarers as one of our focuses. Myanmar will join global efforts to promote compliance with the MLC, 2006.”

This ratification certainly has a particular historical importance for the ILO who has accompanied Myanmar in its democratization process."

Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General
In receiving the instrument of ratification, the ILO Director-General, Mr. Guy Ryder, stated: “It is with great pleasure that I welcome Myanmar, an important labour supplying country for the maritime industry, among the States party to the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006. I commend its efforts to reach the ratification of this key Convention and encourage all steps taken towards its full implementation.”

“This ratification certainly has a particular historical importance for the ILO who has accompanied Myanmar in its democratization process,” Ryder added.

Myanmar’s ratification comes in the context of an increasing number of ratifications achieved in the South-East Asia region, contributing to bringing the whole region closer to a homogeneous operating environment for the maritime shipping industry. The step will contribute to ensuring protection of the rights of seafarers working on ships flying its flag and greater certainty on standards imposed on ships calling at its ports.

Referring to Myanmar’s ratification, both the International Chamber of Shipping and the International Transport Workers' Federation expressed their satisfaction at the achievement of the 75th ratification milestone, and called upon those States which are still to ratify the MLC, 2006 to do so in the near future.

The MLC, 2006 is the fourth pillar of the international regulatory regime for quality shipping, complementing the key Conventions of the International Maritime Organization. It entered into force on 20 August 2013 for the first 30 member States that had registered their ratification by 20 August 2012. With Myanmar’s and other recent ratifications including Cabo Verde, India, Romania, Slovenia, China, New Zealand, and Jordan the MLC, 2006 now covers more than 90 per cent of the world gross tonnage and has near universal implementation.

The Convention will enter into force for Myanmar on 25 May 2017, that is, one year after its ratification.