GENEVA (ILO News) – On 21 February 2012, the Government of Saint Kitts and Nevis deposited with the International Labour Office the instrument of ratification of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006). Saint Kitts and Nevis becomes the 24th member State to ratify the landmark Convention, which seeks to promote decent working and living conditions for seafarers and also create conditions of fair competition for shipowners.
In welcoming the instrument of ratification, Ms. Doumbia-Henry, Director of the International Labour Standards Department, stated: “Today, on the eve of the sixth anniversary of the adoption of the historic Maritime Labour Convention, it gives me great pleasure to receive yet another ratification from an island nation of the Caribbean. Indeed the ratification of the MLC, 2006 by Saint Kitts and Nevis adds itself to those of Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines making the Caribbean one of the leading regions in the global effort for widespread ratification and effective implementation of the Convention”.
In communicating the instrument of ratification, the Honourable Sam T. Condor, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Homeland Security, Labour and Social Security, stated: “The Federation of St Kitts and Nevis has been a flag State since 2005 with approximately 1000 ships on its registry and by ratifying this critical Convention the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis is hereby signalling to the rest of the international maritime community that it is committed to carrying out its obligations as a responsible flag State. Accordingly, the Government of St Kitts and Nevis commits itself to provide the necessary legislative infrastructure and to support and uphold all the principles enshrined in the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006”.
With the ratification of the MLC, 2006 by Saint Kitts and Nevis, 24 ILO member States, representing over 56 per cent of the world gross tonnage of ships, are now parties to the Convention. With seven new ratifications having been registered in the last six months, it is expected that the remaining seven ratifications will be received in the very near future making it possible for the MLC, 2006 to enter into force in early 2013.