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.
for implementation at ILO meeting
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.
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
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.
Further reforms at
a global level necessary to address future shocks, including and beyond a
Natalie Shaw, ICS Director of Employment
Affairs, added:“Though this is a great starting point, further reforms at a
global level are necessary to ensure that the shipping community is better
prepared and coordinated to address future shocks, including and beyond a
“ICS will work to ensure that the
improved cooperation between states, ship owners, and workers remains, for the
betterment of the whole maritime sector and the movement of global trade.”
Ms. Corinne Vargha, Director of the
International Labour Standards Department of the ILO, remarked:“We welcome the
adoption of these amendments which are a testimony to the added value of
tripartism and international social dialogue...The ILO will continue working
with governments, seafarers and shipowners to tackle challenges as they emerge
and ensure a full and harmonious implementation of the Convention.”