Kenya has become the 20th ILO Member State and the seventh African fishing country to ratify the Work in Fishing Convention, 2007 (No. 188). The Convention, which entered into force on 16 November 2017, provides the international legal framework for decent work in the fishing sector. It aims to ensure that the 38 million fishers worldwide who work on commercial fishing vessels enjoy decent working and living conditions on board. It sets out minimum requirements regarding, among other things, conditions of service (such as rest periods, written work agreements, regular salary, repatriation), accommodation and food, occupational safety and health, medical care at sea and ashore and social security. protection, (which should be at the same level as workers ashore).
Ratification documents were received at the ILO on February 4, 2022 and the Convention will enter into force in Kenya on February 4, 2023. Convention No. 188 has also been ratified by Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Congo, Denmark. , Estonia, France, Lithuania, Morocco, Namibia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Senegal, South Africa, Thailand and United Kingdom.
The Government of Kenya has also submitted the instrument of ratification of the Seafarers’ Identity Documents Convention (Revised), 2003, as amended (No. 185), making it the 38th country to do so. . The convention provides a mandatory global identification system for seafarers, enhances security, guarantees the rights and privileges and facilitates the mobility of seafarers when traveling to join ships, disembark in foreign ports or return home them. After national consultations, it may also apply to fishermen. The Convention will enter into force in Kenya on August 4, 2022.
The government has also submitted a notification of acceptance of the 2014 amendments to the Maritime Labor Convention, 2006, as amended. These aim to provide better protection for seafarers and their families in the event of abandonment, death or long-term disability. The 2014 amendments will enter into force in Kenya on August 4, 2022.
Kenya has an Indian Ocean coastline of 640 km. Kenya’s fishing industry contributes about 0.5% of national GDP and about 2% of national export earnings. The industry directly employs over 60,000 fishers and approximately 1.2 million people directly and indirectly within the fishing, production and supply chain. In 2020, 25 merchant ships of 1,200 deadweight tons were under Kenyan flag and there were 1,849 ship visits to Kenyan ports.