Maritime social issues will be the subject of a conference in Brussels from 2-4pm on 2 October organised by MEP Isabelle Thomas under the umbrella of the Seas and Coastal Areas Intergroup. This debate comes just as the Maritime Labour Convention MLC 2006 has entered into force on 20 August 2013. This agreement ratified by 49 countries, including 17 EU states and Norway, introduces for the first time minimum social standards for seafarers worldwide. It sets out obligations for minimum work requirements (minimum age, medical certificate, training and qualifications, use of recruitment and placement agencies), conditions of employment (seafarers’ employment agreements , wages, hours of work or rest, paid leave entitlements, repatriation, compensation in the event of accidents, manning levels on board), accommodation, recreational facilities and catering, and health protection, medical care, welfare and social security protection (medical care on board, shipowners’ liability, accident prevention, access to welfare facilities ashore, social security).
The MLC 2006 Convention represents a major step forward for seafarers and also in terms of economic equity between the signatory states, even though major states such as China and Hong Kong have not signed and it does not address certain issues such as minimum wage, nor does it apply to fishing vessels which will be covered by another agreement. The effective enforcement of these obligations will be monitored partly by the port State, and this now represents the next big challenge. CPMR had repeatedly stated its desire to see the MLC 2006 Convention enter into force as soon as possible. It is a fact that improving working and living conditions on board is an essential factor for the attractiveness, competitiveness and safety of maritime professions. At the same time, more efforts will be needed from the point of view of the European maritime social agenda. – See more at: http://news.cpmr.org/cpmr-news/maritime-cpmr/ep-to-debate-maritime-social-issues-following-adoption-of-the-maritime-labour-convention-mlc-2006/#sthash.N5TwPbMc.dpuf