ILO launches Maritime Labour Convention database

The ILO has launched a database for the Member States that contains up-to-the-minute information on all the technical aspects of the implementation of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC 2006), which came into force on 20 August.

To date 46 ILO Member States, representing more than 76 percent of the world’s gross global tonnage of shipping, have ratified the Convention.

The ILO considers that the new database is a “vital resource for governments, seafarers, ship owners and others in the maritime sector”, taking into account that the database will contain specific information on how the Convention is applied in the national law and practice of each Member State that has ratified it.

In order for the database to be up to date and achieve its goals Member States should provide information on all aspects of implementation and enforcement of the Convention at national level. Data is provided in a reader-friendly format in English, French and Spanish.

The database contains five sections: From specific decisions regarding the application of the Convention to welfare for seafarers, through to more administrative topics relating to the competent authorities who can inspect and certify Convention requirements, as well as the collection of information on possible compliance failures and penalties:

National determinations. This area contains all determinations that have been made with respect to cases of doubt as to whether categories of persons are to be regarded as seafarers for the purposes of the Convention and whether it applies to particular categories of ships.

-Social security. Covers specifications that are required at the time of ratification concerning the branches of social security for which protection is provided for seafarers.

-Authorisation of recognised organisations. A current list of any recognised organisations authorised to carry out inspection and certification functions on behalf of Member States.

-Port State Inspections. Port State authorities may transmit a copy of the authorised officer’s report establishing that the working and living conditions on a ship were found not to conform to the requirements of the Convention.

-Unresolved Complaints and statistics and information regarding resolved complaints.

Upon accessing the database the start screen shows an index of the Member States with a summary of their situation in relation to the Convention. Clicking on Spain’s profile for example the database shows general information as to number of vessels (1,025), deadweight tonnage (426,144) and percentage of global tonnage (0.04%). It then shows the competent authorities for Convention matters.

The section relating to Spanish national determinations has two entriesone, in relation to seafarers (art II.3) noting that the Spanish General Directorate of Merchant Shipping applies a different interpretation of the term, one which “does not apply to all those person on board, but rather those who carry out functions that are maritime in nature, as well as those who do not carry out these types of functions but do carry out their activity on board and not on land”.

The other sets out which vessels are covered by the Convention (art. II.5), under which Spain includes fishing vessels and pleasure craft; those of traditional construction; warships and other vessels of the security services; as well as designated Red Cross vessels.

Spain includes medical assistance and benefits for illness, unemployment and workplace accidents within welfare provisions.