Maritime News

New Asian agreement on the fair treatment of seafarers

16 November 2018

Asia’s leading seafaring nations, meeting in Manila, the Philippines, have agreed their first regional statement on the fair treatment of seafarers. 

The “Manila agreement”, which comes out of a meeting organised by Seafarers’ Rights International (SRI) and with the participation of the Philippine Department of Labour and Employment, more than 10 national governments in the region, shipowners and seafarers’ unions, aims for the proper and effective implementation of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and International Labour Organization (ILO) Guidelines on the Fair Treatment of Seafarers.

The Manila meeting, sponsored by the ITF and the ITF Seafarers’ Trust, agreed to raise awareness of the IMO/ILO Guidelines and explore how the region could develop resources, knowledge and expertise about them.

Asia is the largest supplier of seafarers to the international fleet and therefore essential to international trade. Recognising the seafarers’ role, the agreement acknowledges that they need special protection, especially in the event of a maritime accident. 

Congratulating the Asian countries for leading the fight for the fair treatment of seafarers, ITF general secretary Stephen Cotton said: “Now the hard work begins. We must create an implementation plan to roll out the statement to ensure that every seafarer feels the benefits of what has been agreed.” He added that: “Other regions should follow suit, and the ITF is ready to work with them.”


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