The MLC: background and impact on seafarers’ working conditions, living conditions and health
The MLC: background andimpact on seafarers’ working conditions, living conditions and health By Dani Appave Senior Maritime Specialist International Labour Office
The MLC: background and impact on seafarers’ working conditions, living conditions and health • Origins and Objectives • Structure and contents • New Features •Impact on seafarers’ working and living conditions • Impact on seafarers’ health •Conclusions
Consolidated Convention: The Objectives• All-encompassing single instrument,• Incorporating, as far as possible, all relevant standards,• Draft in easily understandable language• Easy to update• Attractive to ratify to secure widest possible acceptability: wide-scale ratification,• Easy to monitor and to enforce, in order to establish a real level playing field.
Structure of new Convention Articles • Articles (mandatory) • Fundamental principles and rights • Employment and social rights • Procedural and final clauses • New amendment procedure Regulations • Tripartite Committee (mandatory) • Regulations • Substantive rights and obligations • Articles and Regulations establish Code A framework of basic obligations (mandatory) • Code A and B: details for the implementation of the Regulations: mandatory standards and non- Code B mandatory guidelines(non-mandatory)
Content of Draft Convention• A clear set of fundamental rights and principles and seafarers’ employment and social rights pursuant to the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda.• Detailed provisions in the Code for the implementation of the substantive rights.
The TitlesTitle 1: Minimum requirements for seafarers to work on a shipTitle 2: Conditions of employmentTitle 3: Accommodation, recreational facilities, food and cateringTitle 4: Health protection, medical care, welfare and social protectionTitle 5: Compliance and enforcement
New amendment procedures•Express ratification •Simplified amendmentprocedure procedure•Follows closely current ILO •Introduces tacit acceptanceprocedures as replacement for ratification• Updates Convention, but • Applicable in respect ofdoes not create new revising Codesinstrument A and B A new Tripartite Maritime Committee established to consider amendment proposals
A new approach to enforcement• Specific title on Enforcement • Responsibilities and measures• Chain of enforcement • Integrating international and national level• A certification system for labour standards: a maritime labour certificate and a declaration of labour compliance
Innovations• Structure of the • Tripartite Maritime Convention: A one- Committee stop shop • A strong enforcement• A clear set of regime, backed by a certification system for principles and rights compliance with the and employment and Convention social rights for • No more favourable seafarers treatment clause for• Simplified amendment ships of non-ratifying procedure Members
A changed Maritime landscape for the future• Addressing fair competition in the maritime industry through: • Decent employment and social conditions to attract and retain seafarers, especially young people to the industry: social competitiveness,applicable also to domestic shipping • A level playing field through no more favorable treatment to ensure a healthy development of the industry based on fair terms
A changed Maritime landscape for the future Contd.• A simplification of regulation: global standards applicable to the whole industry that are simple, clear, consistent, practicable, acceptable, adaptable and enforceable• Socially responsible shipping with a strong compliance and enforcement regime based on certification and quality control
Impact on conditions of work• Wider application with increased ratification• Better enforcement-flag and port state• Certification after inspection• Complaints procedure onboard and ashore• Complaint in port states• Expansion of issues covered by PSC
Impact on conditions of work• Level playing field for seafarers conditions• Minimum standards set by the Convention• Improved social dialogue at national level• No more favourable treatment• Future revisions will improve protection• Important role of the employment agreement• Better enforcement by flag states and port states
Medical issues in the Convention• Seafarers’ employment and social rights• Article IV• 4. Every seafarer has a right to health protection and welfare measures and other• forms of social security protection.
Protection of Young seafarers• Standard A1.1 – Minimum age• Minimum age at the time of the initial entry into force of this Convention is16 years.• No night work before 18 with exceptions• Night work not permitted if detrimental impact on health or well-being• Work likely to jeopardize health or safety prohibited for under 18’s
Medical certificate• Purpose: To ensure that all seafarers are medically fit• 1. Certification that seafarer is medically fit to perform his duties• 2. To be required by the competent authority• 3. To be issued by a duly qualified and independent medical practitioner• 4. valid for 2 years (1 year for under 18)• 5. colour vision valid for 6 years
Medical certificate• 2. In order to ensure that medical certificates genuinely reflect seafarers’ state of health, in light of the duties they are to perform, the competent authority shall, after• consultation with the organizations of the shipowners and of the seafarers concerned, and giving due consideration to applicable international guidelines referred to in Part B of this Code, prescribe the nature of the medical examination and certificate. (modified C.73A4/1)
Repatriation• Standard A2.5: Seafarers entitled to repatriation ……• 1(c) when the seafarers are no longer able to carry out their duties under their employment agreement or cannot be expected to carry them out in the specific circumstances.• Guideline B2.5.1 – Entitlement• (b) in the cases covered by paragraph 1(c) of Standard A2.5: (i) in the event of illness or injury or other medical condition which requires their repatriation when found medically fit to travel;
Repatriation• Guideline B2.5.1 – Entitlement• The costs to be borne by the shipowner for repatriation under Standard A2.5 should include at least the following:• (e) medical treatment when necessary until the seafarers are medically fit to travel to the• repatriation destination.
Repatriation• Guideline B2.5.2 – Obligations of Members for repatriation• Each Member should have regard to whether proper provision is made:………• (b) for medical care and maintenance of seafarers employed on a ship that flies the flag of a foreign country who are put ashore in a foreign port in consequence of sickness or injury incurred in the service of the ship and not due to their own wilful misconduct
Accommodation, recreational facilities, food and catering• Regulation 3.1 – Accommodation and recreational facilities• Purpose: To ensure that seafarers have decent accommodation and recreational facilities• on board• 1. Members shall ensure that ships that fly their flag provide and maintain decent living accommodations and recreational facilities to seafarers living on board consistent with promoting the seafarers’ health and well-being.
Accommodation, recreational facilities, food and catering• Regulation 3.2 – Food and catering• Purpose: To ensure that seafarers have access to good quality food and drinking water provided under regulated hygienic conditions• 1. Members shall ensure that ships that fly their flag have a supply of sufficient food of good quality, drinking water and catering arrangements that secure the health and well-being of seafarers living on board and take account of differing cultural, religious and• gastronomic backgrounds.
Title 4. Health protection, medicalcare, welfare and social protection• Regulation 4.1 – Medical care on board ship and ashore• Purpose: To protect the health of seafarers and ensure their prompt access to medical care on board ship and ashore• 1. Each Member shall ensure that all seafarers on ships that fly its flag are covered by adequate measures for the protection of their health and that they have access to prompt and adequate medical care whilst working on board.• 2. The protection and care under paragraph 1 shall, in principle, be provided at no cost to the seafarers.
Title 4. Health protection, medicalcare, welfare and social protection• Reg 4.1 (Cont)• 3. Each Member shall ensure that seafarers on board ships in its territory who are in need of immediate medical care are given access to the Member’s medical facilities on shore.• 4. The requirements for on-board health protection and medical care set out in the Code include standards for measures aimed at providing seafarers with health protection and medical care as comparable as possible to that which is generally available to workers• ashore. (modified C.164 A4/b)
Title 4. Health protection, medicalcare, welfare and social protection• Standard A4.1 – Medical care on board ship and ashore• 1. Members shall ensure that measures providing for health protection and medical care (including essential dental care) for seafarers working on board a ship that flies their flag are adopted which:
Title 4. Health protection, medicalcare, welfare and social protection• (a) ensure the application to seafarers of any general provisions on occupational health protection and medical care relevant to their duties, as well as of special provisions peculiar to work on board ship; (modified C.164A4/a)• (b) ensure that seafarers are given health protection and medical care as comparable as possible to that which is generally available to workers ashore, including prompt• access to the necessary medicines, medical equipment and facilities for diagnosis and treatment and to medical information and expertise; (modified C.164A4/b)
Title 4. Health protection, medicalcare, welfare and social protection• (c) give seafarers the right to visit a qualified medical doctor or dentist without delay in ports of call , where practicable;• (d) ensure that, to the extent consistent with the Member’s national law and practice, medical care and health protection services while a seafarer is on board ship or landed in a foreign port are provided free of charge to seafarers; and• (e) are not limited to treatment of sick or injured seafarers but include measures of a preventive character including health promotion and health education programmes.
Title 4. Health protection, medicalcare, welfare and social protection• 2. The competent authority shall adopt a standard medical report form for use by the ships’ masters and relevant onshore and on-board medical personnel. The form and its contents shall be kept confidential and shall be used for no other purpose than to facilitate• the treatment of seafarers.• 3. Members shall adopt laws and regulations establishing requirements for on-board hospital and medical care facilities and equipment and training on ships that fly their flags.
Title 4. Health protection, medicalcare, welfare and social protection• 4. National laws and regulations shall at minimum provide for the following requirements:• (a) ships carrying 15 or more seafarers and engaged in a voyage of more than three days to have separate hospital accommodation to be used exclusively for medical purposes. The competent authority may relax this requirement in respect of ships engaged in coastal trade.
Title 4. Health protection, medicalcare, welfare and social protection• (b) all ships shall carry a medicine chest, medical equipment and a medical guide, the specifics of which shall be prescribed and subject to regular inspection by the competent authority. The national requirements shall take into account the type of ship, the number of persons on board and the nature, destination and duration of voyages and relevant national and international recommended medical standards;
Title 4. Health protection, medicalcare, welfare and social protection• (c) ships carrying 100 or more persons and ordinarily engaged on international voyages of more than three days’ duration shall carry a qualified medical doctor who is responsible for providing medical care. (C.164A8/1) National laws or regulations shall also specify which other ships shall be required to carry a medical doctor, taking into account, inter alia, such factors as the duration, nature and conditions of the• voyage and the number of seafarers on board; (C.164A8/2)
Title 4. Health protection, medicalcare, welfare and social protection• (d) ships, which do not carry a medical doctor shall be required to have either at least one seafarer on board who is in charge of medical care and administering medicine as part of their regular duties or least one seafarer on board competent to provide medical• first aid. (modified C.164A9/1) Persons in charge of medical care on board who are not medical doctors shall have satisfactorily completed training in medical care that meets the requirements of the Seafarers’ Training, Certification and Watchkeeping• Code (STCW Code).
Title 4. Health protection, medicalcare, welfare and social protection• Seafarers designated to provide medical first aid shall have satisfactorily completed training in medical first aid that meets the requirements of the STCW Code. National laws or regulations shall specify the level of approved training required taking into account, inter alia, such factors as the duration, nature and conditions of the voyage and the number of seafarers on board;• (e) the competent authority shall ensure by a rearranged system that medical advice by radio or satellite communication to ships at sea, including specialist advice, is available at any hour of the day or night.
Title 4. Health protection, medicalcare, welfare and social protection• Medical advice, including the onward transmission of medical messages by radio or satellite communication between a ship and shore available free of charge to all ships irrespective of flag.
Title 4. Health protection, medicalcare, welfare and social protection• Guidelines B4.1 :• Provision of medical care• Medical report form• Medical care ashore• Medical assistance to other ships• Dependents of seafarers
Shipowners’ Liability• Regulation, Standard and Guideline 4.2• Shipowners to pay for sickness, injury or death while seafarer is serving under employment agreement or arising from such employment• Includes health protection and medical care, medical treatment and the supply of medicines, therapeutic appliances, board and lodging until the seafarer has recovered or incapacity declared of a permanent character.
Health and safety protection Accident prevention• Regulation, Standard,Guideline 4.3• Protection, training, based on codes, guidelines and standards adopted for the industry.• Laws to be adopted on specified subjects• Reporting and recording of accidents, injuries and diseases.• Investigation of accidents.
Conclusions• New Convention provides wide protection on conditions of work and health matters• It will cover all seafarers• It should be more effective with improved enforcement by flag states and by port states• Entry into force 12 months after 30 ratifications registered by the ILO
Thank You ILO website: www.ilo.org ILO maritime webpages:www.ilo.org/public/english/dialogue/ sector/sectors/mariti.htm
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