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Amendments Made to MLC 2006 Agreement

Eight of the 12 amendment proposals to the MLC 2006 convention (Maritime Labor Convention for improving the working and living conditions of seafarers) were accepted. At the fourth meeting of the Special Tripartite Committee (STC) of the International Labor Organization (ILO) held between 05-13 May 2022, it was announced that eight of the 12 amendment proposals regarding the MLC 2006 agreement were agreed upon and the following amendments were accepted in the MLC agreement:

  1. Providing personal protective equipment of appropriate quality and size to women ship workers, whose number is increasing day by day,
  2. Providing free quality drinking water to seafarers,
  3. Facilitating the prompt return of abandoned seafarers to their countries,
  4. Providing onshore medical care to seafarers in urgent need of medical assistance by States;
  5. Facilitating the sending of the bodies of seafarers who died on the ship,
  6. Providing internet access in ports by the states with social communication opportunities suitable for seafarers by shipowners,
  7. Informing seafarers about their rights and obligations regarding recruitment and placement in order to compensate their financial losses,
  8. Recording the deaths of seafarers and reporting them annually to the ILO and publishing these data,
  9. Additional Provisions (arrangements facilitating the functioning of the financial security system accepted by the ship owner, on which the ship is registered, unlike the original owner of the ship)

It is stated that the amendments to the MLC 2006 agreement were approved on 6 June 2022 within the scope of the 110th ILO General Conference held between 29 May – 11 June 2022 and it is anticipated that the amendments will enter into force in December 2024.

Changes to the MLC Agreement

Following the ILO meeting, we can explain some of the changes to be made in the MLC convention as follows:

  • Providing seafarers with free quality drinking water

Drinking water and meals were already provided free of charge to the crew on board the ships, however, some companies provided the water produced in the evaporator and stored in the ship’s tanks. These waters were served to personnel through mineral-poor, old and rusty pipelines. Bottled water was sold for a fee to the personnel who did not want to use the water stored in the tanks. With the change, the term ‘quality’ was introduced. Companies have to provide their staff with quality food and water free of charge.

  • Providing onshore medical care to seafarers in urgent need of medical assistance by States

As it is known, all countries took strict quarantine measures with the epidemic, and some countries took much more drastic measures in this regard. Even seafarers with other diseases apart from the epidemic have been deprived of health care due to these quarantine measures. Even some of our seafarer colleagues lost their lives. With this change, states will have to provide medical care for people who need medical attention.

  • Facilitating the sending of the bodies of seafarers who died on the ship,

It is actually a situation that can be considered as an extension of the above article. In some cases, countries did not allow the transfer of bodies, citing quarantine measures. With the efforts of flag states and consulates, it may be necessary to obtain special permissions, and sometimes even special permissions were not given. With this item, the solution has been provided.

You can click on the link here to access the original document with the changes made.

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