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24 states back seafarers' bill of rights

16 March 2012

The Pacific islands state of Tuvalu has ratified the International Labour Organization (ILO) Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC) – often known as the seafarers' "bill of rights". The MLC sets out minimum standards and fair working conditions for seafarers worldwide.

Seafarers from Tuvalu supply the international maritime industry and make a significant contribution to their national economy – an estimated 75 per cent of Tuvaluan seafarers' wages are returned to the country in remittances.

To come into international law, the MLC has to be signed by at least 30 member states and represent at least 50 per cent of the world's gross tonnage of shipping. The latter condition has already been exceeded, with states representing over 56 per cent of world shipping tonnage signed up. Following the ratification by Tuvalu on 16 February and St Kitts and Nevis on 21 February, just six more countries need to sign up to bring the convention into international law.

The ILO is expecting the remaining ratifications to be gained in time for the MLC to come into force in early 2013.

Further information
Maritime Labour Convention -

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