Maritime treaty protects rights of all seafarers

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© Felix Behnke / Cultura Creative

The rights of all people who work on vessels will now be protected under international law when the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC) comes into effect on Tuesday.

The treaty covers all seafarers, including those who work aboard cruise ships.

Patrick Moser reports from the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Geneva.

Mention the word "seafarer" and it is pretty unlikely that wait staff or on-board entertainers will come to mind. But the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, often known as the "Seafarers' Bill of Rights," extends to cruise ships just as it does to the merchant fleet.

Cresly Jade Santos, a waitress on the Costa Favolosa cruise ship, says the convention has helped those working on the ship understand their rights.

"It gives us a high awareness for the crew members to have decent accommodation and for our salaries, for our wages, repatriation, sickness, and hospitalization."

The MLC, 2006, has been ratified to date by more than 40 countries, representing over 70 per cent of the world's shipping in terms of tonnage.

It covers all the different aspects of a seafarer's working and living conditions including minimum age, employment contracts, wages, hours of work, paid leave and repatriation.

It sets minimum standards for food, accommodation and recreation on board, and provides for medical care, occupation safety and health and social security.

Patrick Moser for the ILO.

Duration: 1’02″

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