ILO: MLC Changes to Protect Seafarers against Desertion

International Labour Organization (ILO) member states have confirmed the amendments to the Maritime Labour Convention ensuring better protection to seafarers and their families in case of abandonment, death, and long-term disability.

The Amendments to the Code of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC, 2006), which were adopted in 2014, will enter into force on January 18, 2017.

According to ILO, there was wide support for the new provisions, “with just two Governments stating that they shall not be bound by the amendments, unless and until they subsequently notify their acceptance.”

The 2014 Amendments establish new binding international law to better protect seafarers against abandonment and provide for compensation for death or long-term disability – two crucial issues for the shipping industry.

“When they come into force, in January 2017, the 2014 Amendments will require that a financial security system be in place to ensure that shipowners ensure compensation to seafarers and their families in the event of abandonment, death or long-term disability of seafarers due to an occupational injury, illness or hazard,” ILO said.

Mandatory certificates and other evidentiary documents will be required to be carried on board to establish that the financial security system is in place to protect the seafarers working on board, the organization added.

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