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  • 2022 May 17 18:07

    Global shipping community updates Maritime Labour Convention

    The UN International Labour Organization (ILO) tripartite of shipowners, governments, and transport workers unions have agreed to new measures to strengthen the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), based on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to The International Chamber of Shipping's release.

    At the ILO meeting that took place between May 2 – 13 in Geneva, Switzerland, delegates agreed to implement amendments on: bolstering legal requirements for seafarers to be able to access medical care ashore; strengthening health and safety PPE policies on board ships to protect against accidents; and to further facilitate seafarers’ communication with their loved ones ashore.

    A new ILO report published in advance of the negotiations highlighted governments’ failure to comply with critical provisions of the MLC during the pandemic, resulting in preventable deaths, and an enormous toll on seafarers’ mental health. At the height of the pandemic, 400,000 seafarers were affected by the crew change crisis, unable to return to shore or access ships due to draconian travel restrictions.

    The International Chamber of Shipping is the longstanding ILO representative of the global maritime employers’ group.

    The negotiations occurred against the backdrop of the current seafarer crisis in Ukrainian ports and the Sea of Azov. Governments reiterated their support for the ILO resolution calling for the swift and safe disembarkation and repatriation of the 500 remaining trapped seafarers. They called for the prompt delivery of critical supplies, such as food, water, and medicines to these key global workers caught in the conflict zone.

    In advance of the meeting, ICS also published a report outlining the impact of COVID-19 on shipping, seafarers and maritime labour markets, and recommendations to mitigate future crises.




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