Thursday, July 7, 2011

Singapore First Asian Country to Ratify ILOs Maritime Labour Convention, 2006

Singapore will ratify the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) with the full support of tripartite partners.

The partners are the seafarer unions and the National Trades Union Congress, as well as the maritime industry and the Singapore National Employers Federation.

The development was announced by Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Manpower and Education Hawazi Daipi, at the International Labour Conference in Geneva, Switzerland earlier Tuesday.

In submitting the instrument of ratification, Loh Khum Yean, Permanent Secretary of Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower, said, “Singapore is pleased to ratify the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 with the full support of our tripartite partners.

“This is a significant step for Singapore, as we commit to applying the Convention’s provisions to Singapore-registered ships and ships that call at our ports, as well as to achieve decent working conditions for seafarers.”

Lam Yi Young, chief executive of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, said: “Seafarers play a critical role in enabling shipping, world trade and the world’s economy.”

In receiving the instrument of ratification, Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, ILO director of International Labour Standards, stated: “The ratification of the MLC, 2006, by Singapore, the world’s largest port state and one of the top ten flag states, sends a powerful signal to the global maritime community.”

She said Singapore was the first country of the Asian continent to have accepted the Seafarers’ Bill of Rights, and “we all know how vital and important this continent is for maritime trade and the global economy”.

She added: “This strong expression of leadership by Singapore sends the right message to other countries to come on board to enable the world’s seafarers to benefit from this Bill of Rights and shipowners from a level-playing field.”

Singapore is ranked among the world’s top ten largest ship registries and is regarded as a reputable flag state in the world, renowned for its quality fleet, and backed by an efficient maritime administration.

With the ratification by Singapore of the MLC, 2006, 13 ILO member states have now ratified this important Convention, which sets out minimum standards and fair working conditions for seafarers worldwide.

It is expected that the 30 ratifications will be obtained before the end of 2011, indicating that the MLC, 2006 will enter into force in 2012.


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