THE International Labor Organization (ILO) has proposed the inclusion of a mandatory training for seafarers, shipowners and other stakeholders on the Maritime Labor Convention (MLC) 2006 in the updated Standards of Training Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW).
In an interview with BusinessMirror on Wednesday, International Labor Organization (ILO) Director General Gilbert F. Houngbo said they are coordinating with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for the initiative.
Through awareness of the MLC, all maritime stakeholders will be able to ensure the protection of seafarers during times of crisis, he said.
The MLC contains the minimum working and living standards for all seafarers working on ships flying the flags of ratifying countries.
It ensures the right of a seafarer for a safe and secure workplace that complies with safety standards, fair terms of employment, decent working and living conditions on board ship, as well as health protection, medical care, welfare measures and other forms of social protection
“We are working very intensely with ILO on this to ensure that we draw lessons from the ordeal that the seafarer had to face” during the Covid-19 outbreak, so this does not happen during another crisis, Houngbo said.
During the onset of the pandemic, he noted many seafarers were confined in their ships for extended periods without any breaks.
The IMO is currently reviewing the provisions of the STCW to keep up with the changing technology and challenges in the maritime industry.
Houngbo concluded his three-day visit in the Philippines on Wednesday.
During his stay, he participated in the global seafarers’ summit Seafarer 2050-Shaping the Future of Shipping, where he advocated for more countries to ratify the ILO MLC.
The Philippines is among those which have ratified the convention.
Image credits: ILO.org