Thailand ratifies ILO Maritime Labour Convention
By Cliff White, Editor
Published on Wednesday, June 08, 2016
The government of Thailand has ratified the International Labour Organization’s Maritime Labour Convention, a treaty that establishes enforcement mechanisms to guarantee global standards relating to the working and living conditions of seafarers.
Thailand became the 77th country to ratify the treaty after Thai Minister of Labor General Sirichai Distakul deposited the instrument of ratification to ILO Director-General Guy Ryder in Geneva on Tuesday, 7 June.
“The ratification of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 by Thailand is yet another testimony of the importance of the Convention for countries worldwide, as it impacts on the manner in which they carry out maritime trade, inspect ships calling at their ports and protect the rights of the seafarers,” Ryder said. “Thailand has more than 12.000 seafarers and a merchant fleet of 3,368,993 gross tons. I welcome this new ratification that brings one more important player in the Asia Pacific region within the scope of the MLC, 2006, thereby promoting quality shipping and providing additional protection for seafarers transiting within waters of the region.”
The treaty will enter into force in Thailand on 7 June, 2017 – one year from the date of its ratification.
The Maritime Labour Convention has the twin objectives of “ensur[ing] the worldwide protection of the rights of seafarers and establish[ing] a level playing field for countries and shipowners committed to providing decent working and living conditions to seafarers,” according to its website. It provides minimum requirements for seafarers to work on a ship, conditions of employment, minimum standards for accommodation while onboard and requirements for health and medical care.
It also creates mechanisms for enforcement of its rules. Flag states are responsible for the treaty’s rules are followed on board its fleet’s vessels, while port states are required to conduct inspections and investigations of visiting ships.