Governments, seafarers and shipowners in the global shipping industry have agreed on eight amendments to the Maritime Labor Convention, 2006, as amended (MLC, 2006), with the aim of improving conditions life and work of seafarers around the world.
More than 500 delegates attending Part II of the MLC Special Tripartite Meeting, 2006, met in a hybrid format May 5-13, 2022. The amendments they agreed to will ensure that:
seafarers have access to appropriately sized personal protective equipment, in particular to respond to the growing number of female seafarers; good quality drinking water is available free of charge to seafarers;
States shall further facilitate the rapid repatriation of abandoned seafarers;
States provide medical care to seafarers in need of immediate assistance and facilitate the repatriation of the remains of seafarers who die on board;
seafarers benefit from appropriate social connectivity from shipowners and States provide internet access in their ports; seafarers are informed of their rights regarding the obligation of recruitment and placement services to compensate seafarers for monetary loss; and
all seafarer fatalities are recorded and reported annually to the ILO and relevant data is published.
The amendments will be presented for approval at the next session of the International Labor Conference, to be held in May and June 2022. If approved, they are expected to enter into force by December 2024.
In addition to the amendments, the Special Tripartite Committee adopted a number of resolutions relating to bullying and harassment of seafarers, including sexual assault and sexual harassment; the financial security system to protect seafarers in the event of abandonment and the need to adopt measures to ensure that all seafarers have adequate means of contractual recourse against shipowners.