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SHIPPING & MARINE | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Singapore ratifies Maritime Labour Convention

It is supported by the seafarer unions and the National Trades Union Congress, the maritime industry and the Singapore National Employers Federation.

Mr. LOH Khum Yean, Permanent Secretary of Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower, said, “Singapore is pleased to ratify the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 with the full support of our tripartite partners. This is a significant step for Singapore, as we commit to applying the Convention’s provisions to Singapore-registered ships and ships that call at our ports, as well as to achieve decent working conditions for seafarers. As a responsible flag state, Singapore had actively participated in the discussions that led to the adoption of this important Convention, which consolidates and updates over 60 ILO Conventions and Recommendations. We look forward to it entering into force in due course.”

Mr LAM Yi Young, Chief Executive of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, commented, “Seafarers play a critical role in enabling shipping, world trade and the world’s economy. As a responsible maritime nation, Singapore is committed to enhancing and looking after the wellbeing of seafarers. The ratification of MLC is part of this commitment.”

Ms Cleopatra DOUMBIA-HENRY, International Labour Organisation Director of International Labour Standards, stated: “The ratification of the MLC, 2006, by Singapore, the world’s largest port State and one of the top ten flag States, sends a powerful signal to the global maritime community. Singapore is the first country of the Asian continent to have accepted the Seafarers’ Bill of Rights, and we all know how vital and important this continent is for maritime trade and the global economy. This strong expression of leadership by Singapore sends the right message to other countries to come on board to enable the worlds’ seafarers to benefit from this Bill of Rights and shipowners from a level-playing field.”

With the ratification by Singapore of the MLC, 2006, 13 ILO member States have now ratified this Convention, which sets out minimum standards and fair working conditions for seafarers worldwide. According to the joint press release by MOM, MPA, and ILO, while the first requirement for entry into force of the Convention – coverage of 33 per cent of the world gross tonnage – has already been attained, Singapore’s ratification is an important step towards achieving the second requirement: 30 ratifying countries. It is expected that the 30 ratifications will be obtained before the end of 2011, indicating that the MLC, 2006 will enter into force in 2012.

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