News

Maritime Labour Convention Comes Into Force

20th August 2013
AoS believes the coming into force of the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 on 20 August is a critical moment for shipping to ‘up its game’.  
 
AoS warmly welcomes the coming into force of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) on 20 August 2013. It hopes the shipping industry will seize this once in a generation opportunity to improve its image and practices. 
     Last year, at the Apostleship of the Sea World Congress, Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, International Director of Labour Standards at the International Labour Organisation said,  “the adoption after five years of intensive international consultation of this major new instrument, covering almost every issue related to seafarers' working and living conditions and replacing 37 Conventions and related recommendations, is only a starting point.” 
             Dr Doumbia-Henry also pointed out that the MLC greatly relies on private, social or religious endeavours, such as the Apostleship of the Sea, in ports where necessary seafarers' welfare facilities are inadequate or have yet to be established.  Any government that fails to promote the development of welfare facilities in its ports would be in clear breach of its obligations under the MLC.
          Martin Foley,AoS GB National Director, said, “We are hopeful, yet cautious, that the MLC will lead to an improvement in seafarers’ welfare across the world. All too often our port chaplains and volunteer ship visitors encounter cases of abandonment, non payment of wages and other abuses that we hope this convention will help eradicate. Now that the MLC has come into force, effective enforcement of its provisions is critical if this welcome ‘Bill of Rights’ for seafarers is to make a practical difference to their lives.”  The Apostleship of the Sea undertakes the majority of ship welfare visiting in the UK and is also present in nearly 300 ports around the world. If you would like to read more about the Convention you can visit the International Labour Organisations' information web page.