Recent amendments to the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, are set to come into effect in December 2024. Key changes include modifications to recruitment, repatriation, recreational facilities, food and catering, medical care, and accident prevention. This article provides an overview of the significant updates.
The International Labour Conference, in its 110th session, has adopted a series of significant amendments to the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006. These changes, expected to come into effect in December 2024, are designed to strengthen the rights of seafarers and ensure a safer, fairer, and more secure work environment in the maritime industry. Major changes to the Maritime Labour Convention include revisions to regulations concerning recruitment and placement, repatriation, recreational facilities, food and catering, medical care onboard and ashore, health and safety protection, and accident prevention. Below is a brief overview of the most relevant updates:
Updated Repatriation Protocols
The changes also seek to streamline and fortify the repatriation process, ensuring that seafarers’ rights to a prompt return are upheld. These amendments delve deeper into the responsibilities of various state actors, thus ensuring an ample approach to repatriation.
Revamped Recreational Facilities and Amenities
These amendments underscore the importance of social connectivity in the provision of amenities and recreational facilities for seafarers. The updates highlight the significance of ship-to-shore communication and steady internet access throughout voyages.
Updated Food and Catering Regulations
These amendments bring about essential changes to the food and catering regulations, ensuring seafarers’ nutritional needs are met adequately. The revisions strive to ensure that the provision of food and water supplies aligns with the specific requirements of seafarers and the nature of their voyages.
Expanded Medical Care Provisions
These revisions broaden the range of medical care provided to seafarers, including a framework on the provision of treatment ashore. The changes also outline new guidelines regarding the repatriation of deceased seafarers.
Enhancing Safety Protection and Accident Prevention Measures
The amendments aim to improve health and safety protection measures, reduce the risk of exposure to harmful factors, and ensure the provision of appropriate personal protective equipment.
The amendments aim to ensure that:
Free drinking water of good quality is available for seafarers.
Seafarers have appropriately sized personal protective equipment, in particular, to suit the increasing number of female seafarers.
States shall further facilitate the prompt repatriation of abandoned seafarers.
States shall provide medical care to seafarers in need of immediate assistance and, when required, facilitate the speedy repatriation of the deceased.
Shipowners provide seafarers with appropriate social connectivity, and States provide internet access in their ports.
All deaths of seafarers are recorded and reported annually to the ILO and the relevant data is published.
Seafarers are informed of their rights regarding the obligation of recruitment and placement services to compensate seafarers for any monetary loss.
Flag states are required to implement the adopted amendments. Therefore, vessel operators should check with their respective flag state(s) to update existing safety management and MLC procedures.