At Sea

Aug 06, 2008 (LBO) – A new International Labour Organisation maritime
convention that Sri Lanka is to ratify will improve the safety,
efficiency and working conditions of seafarers, officials said. The ILO maritime labour convention, also known as a ‘bill of rights’
for seafarers has an enforcement system that will prevent their
exploitation by owners of sub-standard ships, they said.

Shipping is important for islands like Sri Lanka with many ships
entering her ports, Tine Staermose, director, ILO Colombo told a
workshop for Sri Lankan and Maldivian officials on ratifying the UN
convention.

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“Thousands of Sri Lankan and Maldivian seafarers work aboard these and
other vessels and they have protection rights that are not yet
adequately covered,” she said.

The ILO maritime labour convention promotes ‘decent’ working
conditions for seafarers, she said.

The workshop is being held to help Sri Lanka prepare an action plan
to ratify the convention which seeks to improve working and living
conditions of seafarers who often spend months at sea.

It has a certification and enforcement mechanism that ensures
conditions can be monitored no matter where a ship sails.