The Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), 2006 entered into force on 20 August 2013 and, as of March 2015 it has been ratified by 66 countries representing more than 80 percent of the world gross tonnage of ships.
On 5th September 2015, the Chinese top legislature opted to ratify the 2006 MLC.
Aims of MLC:
- To ensure comprehensive worldwide protection of the rights of seafarers (the Convention is sometimes called the Seafarers’ Bill of Rights); and
- To establish a level playing field for countries and ship owners committed to providing decent working and living conditions for seafarers, protecting them from unfair competition on the part of substandard ships.
The National People’s Congress standing committee, during its fortnightly session, made this announcement. The committee stressed the need for maritime worker’s right to old age care, medical benefits, work-related injury insurance and unemployment dole and childbirth insurance in China.
The committee announced that the 2006 MLC shall not apply to Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) and the Macao SAR for the time being.