Maritime Labour Conventions’ Standards Not Followed



The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) reports that the number of vessels that failed to comply with Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) standards has increased by 4% to 2,755 last year.  In 2013, the Convention was in force in 30 countries. Presently, 60 of the 65 maritime countries have joined the MLC regime.  Since MLC came into force in 2013, ITF inspectors have recovered around $89m.  A survey was conducted between 20 August 2014 and 19 August 2015 to find the real-time experiences of seafarers covering problems found on vessels flying all flags.  

The outcome of the survey are given below:

  • The number of reports of MLC non-compliance has increased in Year 2 of the MLC being in force, both in numbers and as a percentage of inspections
  • The flag with the highest number of reported problems is Panama
  • The flag with the highest percentage of problematic inspections is St Kitts & Nevis
  • The most frequently reported problems relate to unpaid wages; over the first two years during which the MLC has been in force some $89 million has been recovered by ITF inspectors
  • The payment of wages below ILO minima is also a significant issue

The increase in reporting non-compliance might be that the convention provides easier mechanisms for seafarers to make complaints.  Sadly, there is no improvement in the standards of living and working conditions for seafarers because of non-compliance.  The flooding of complaints only makes one wonder, how many problems went unaddressed prior to the entry MLC standards into force.

Source: ITF Global