The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has commissioned an in-depth study into the implementation and enforcement of the ILO Maritime Labor Convention 2006 (MLC), which came into force in August 2013. The study will be carried out by Seafarers’ Rights International (SRI).
The ITF was a major mover in the development of the MLC, which sets out comprehensive and enforceable minimum standards for seafarers’ working and living conditions, and which has been described as the most ambitious convention ever, covering the modern realities of working conditions on board a 21st century ship. According to the federation, the MLC is the “fourth pillar” in the maritime regulatory regime, along with SOLAS, Marpol and the STCW conventions.
ITF Seafarers’ Section Chair David Heindel, who is secretary-treasurer of the SIU, explained, “Although the ITF is delighted that the convention is now in force, there is a clear need for a critical evaluation of its implementation and enforcement. Both port state control and ITF inspectors have reported numerous breaches of the MLC. That’s why we’ve decided to commission SRI to do a thorough study to assess its effectiveness, and identify any areas where it may need strengthening. That study is likely to take around two years to complete.”
He continued, “The MLC is a fine, pioneering achievement of which all of those who supported it can be proud. But there is no room for complacency. We’ve said all along that its enforcement and effectiveness must be monitored and checked. We’re glad to be supporting that aim.”
The International Chamber of Shipping and the ITF had discussed a joint project, but it was decided that the ITF would commission the study.
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