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IMO Secretary-General welcomes entry into force of Maritime Labour Convention

Briefing: 38, August 20, 2013

IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu today (20 August) welcomed the entry into force of the 
Maritime Labour Convention (MLC 2006), adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO), a sister UN agency to IMO.

“The entry into force of the MLC convention marks significant progress in the recognition of seafarers’ roles and the need to safeguard their well-being and their working conditions. This is a truly important landmark for seafarers; and for shipping, on which the global economy relies,” Mr. Sekimizu said.

The MLC treaty, which has been ratified by 48 countries, aims to achieve decent work for the world's seafarers and secure economic interests in fair competition for quality shipowners.

The MLC is considered the ‘fourth pillar’ of the most important maritime regulations covering international shipping, complementing three major conventions adopted by IMO: the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS); the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL); and the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW). These three IMO treaties were first adopted in the 1970s and have each been ratified by more than 150 countries, representing more than 99 per cent of world merchant shipping.

IMO and ILO have a long history of co-operating on issues which come under the remit of both Organizations, insofar as they relate to seafarers, and have established joint ILO/IMO ad-hoc expert working groups on issues such as on hours of work and rest, seafarers' medical examinations, fair treatment of seafarers in the event of a maritime accident, and liability and compensation regarding claims for death, personal injury and abandonment of seafarers. 

IMO’s STCW Convention was revised in 2010 and includes mirror provisions to the MLC requirements on such issues as hours of work and rest, where the two treaties overlap

“IMO stands ready to support the implementation of MLC 2006 and looks forward to working with its Member States on issues of mutual concern, as we have successfully done in the past,” Mr. Sekimizu said. 

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IMO – the International Maritime Organization – is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.

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