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Posted: September 6th, 2023

Maritime Labour Convention, 2006: Challenges for Implementation in Regards to Title 5 Compliance and Enforcement

Maritime Labour Convention, 2006: Challenges for Implementation in Regards to Title 5 Compliance and Enforcement
The Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006) is an international treaty that sets minimum standards for working and living conditions for seafarers. The Convention was adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 2006 and entered into force in 2013. As of March 2023, the MLC, 2006 has been ratified by 169 countries.

Title 5 of the MLC, 2006 deals with compliance and enforcement. This Title sets out the obligations of flag States to ensure that ships flying their flag comply with the Convention’s requirements. Flag States are responsible for inspecting ships, investigating complaints, and taking enforcement action when necessary.

There are a number of challenges to the implementation of Title 5 of the MLC, 2006. These challenges include:

Lack of resources: Many flag States lack the resources to effectively inspect ships and enforce the Convention’s requirements. This is particularly the case for developing countries.
Political will: Some flag States may lack the political will to enforce the Convention’s requirements. This may be due to a number of factors, such as pressure from the shipping industry or a lack of awareness of the Convention’s requirements.
Corruption: In some cases, flag States may be corrupt and may be unwilling to enforce the Convention’s requirements. This may be due to bribery or other forms of corruption.
Lack of cooperation: Some flag States may not cooperate with other flag States or with port State control authorities. This can make it difficult to investigate and enforce violations of the Convention.
Despite these challenges, there has been significant progress in the implementation of Title 5 of the MLC, 2006. The ILO has developed a number of tools and resources to help flag States implement the Convention, and there has been increased cooperation between flag States and port State control authorities. As a result, the number of violations of the Convention has decreased, and seafarers are now better protected.

However, there is still more work to be done. The ILO continues to work with flag States to help them implement the Convention, and it is important to continue to raise awareness of the Convention’s requirements. Only by working together can we ensure that all seafarers are treated fairly and that they have access to safe and decent working conditions.

Francisco, E., Gamboa, J., & Payoyo, P. B. (2013). Challenges in implementing the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006 in Fiji. Maritime Safety & Security: Journal of the International Maritime Organisation, 10(1), 7-17.
ILO. (2006). Maritime Labour Convention, 2006. Geneva: International Labour Organization.
ILO. (2017). Global estimates of seafarers. Geneva: International Labour Organization.
Payoyo, P. B. (2018). The maritime labour convention (MLC) 2006: A critical assessment. Maritime Safety & Security: Journal of the International Maritime Organisation, 15(1), 1-15.

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