Lloyd’s Register has developed a voluntary assessment programme designed to support the practical implementation of the forthcoming ILO Maritime Labour Convention (MLC, 2006) on new and existing ships.
Not yet mandatory, the MLC, a significant development in international shipping described as a ‘bill of rights’ for maritime labour, is expected to come into force by 2012. But ratification may take place even earlier.
The convention has been drafted to help ensure that all seafarers, regardless of their nationality and the flag of the ships they work on, can enjoy decent working and living conditions. Lloyd’s Register believes that the MLC, 2006 will have a direct and positive impact on crew recruitment and retention and maritime safety – key issues for all those involved in shipping. The new convention sets minimum standards on issues such as conditions of employment, accommodation, recreational facilities, food and catering, health and safety protection, medical care, welfare and social security protection issues. Detailed requirements of the convention aim to tackle issues associated with the causes of fatigue, occupational accidents, recruitment, employment opportunities and working and living conditions for an estimated 1.2 million seafarers.