Work convention to protect sailors
The aim of the convention is to gather in one document all the rules and regulations concerning work at sea. The agreement also gives a ...
The aim of the convention is to gather in one document all the rules and regulations concerning work at sea. The agreement also gives a series of tools to the maritime authorities of the countries that sell their flags to ships, as well as the port administrations to allow them to board vessels and carry out inspections to ensure compliance with international labor statutes.
The agreement has not yet been implemented because it requires the ratification of 30 countries. So far only Panama, the Bahamas, Marshall Islands and Liberia, which have 33 percent of the total capacity of seagoing cargo vessels, have approved the convention. The alliance of those nations means that it could be implemented in the near future.
Solorzano said that more than likely, before the end of the year, the countries that form part of the European Union will ratify the convention, because a EU commission recommended that it should do so.
Once the 30 countries decide to adopt the document it will take another year for it to be implemented, so it could be in force in 2012.
The administrator said that the convention is very important for sailors, because at the moment work regulations vary from one ship to another depending on the flag of the country they are flying. “By having only one agreement that regulates rights and working conditions, there will be a uniform standard for the labor relationships between maritime companies and the sea workers.”
Solorzano said that the agreement will ensure that the rights of the workers are not being violated and that all the countries have the same mechanisms to implement the law.
“Panama, which has the biggest merchant fleet in the world, wants to set an example by ratifying the maritime work convention and encourages the international community to do the same and consolidate the maritime sector,” said the administrator.
The convention has a series of regulations that allow sailors to present complaints on land and sea, and clearly informs ship owners of the general responsibilities outlined in the agreement.
Seafarers will also have a better idea about their rights and how to request compensation in case of accidents or other incidents.