MLC conference begins today
BY HERALD REPORTER
PANJIM, JUNE 22, 2008 – The International Labour Organisation (ILO) will organise the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) conference and the 5th Regional Welfare Committee (RWC) meeting in Goa from June 23 to 25.
Dr Suresh Idnani, Vice-President of the International Maritime Health Association (IMHA) and the regional co-ordinator South Asia stated that the stakeholders and delegates from India and Pakistan will participate in the convention.
“Speakers from the Maritime Section of International Labour Organization (ILO), International Transport Federation (ITF), International Christian Maritime organization (ICMA) and International Sailor Society will address the conference,” he said.
The ILO Consolidated Maritime Convention was held in February 2006, in Geneva, where the Bill of Rights for seafarers was adopted to include among other subjects, health, seafarers welfare, minimum age, recruitment, hours of work and other vital issues affecting a seafarers life, Dr Idnani said.
Capt Asitha Wijisesekera, Chairman of Regional Seafarers’ Welfare Committee said that the convention provides realistic solutions for achieving universal application and enforcement as it is a product of negotiations and consensus between seafarers, ship owners from over 80 countries.
“Convention has been designed to become a global instrument known as the ‘fourth pillar’ of the international regulatory regime for quality shipping and it is now that governments, ship owners and seafarers need to focus on their preparation for incoming changes,” he added.
This MLC Conference ’06 will take place at the International Centre, Dona Paula, followed by the 5th Regional Welfare Committee Meeting (RWC) at the Sun and Sand Resort Hotel in Panjim, on June 24 and 25.
The ICSW (International Committee for Seafarer’s Welfare) adopted a 4-year seafarer’s welfare development programme for South Asia addressing key issues including regional cooperation and networking, promotion and practical implementation of the ILO instruments of seafarer’s welfare, training of welfare workers, development and maintenance of facilities and services, raising awareness and advocacy, communication, health and fitness of seafarers’, welfare assistance for seafarer’s families, ship visiting and access to ships.
Each of the four countries attending the ICSW Regional Seminar 2005 for South Asia has formed a National Seafarer’s Welfare Board (NSWB)/ PWC comprising representatives of the unions, religious government, government ship owners and port authorities, and two representatives from each NSWB formed a Regional Welfare Committee (RWC) for this region.
Countries representing include Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
The Regional Welfare Committee (RWC) has met four times so far and does oversee assess prioritised list of projects on communication, training, ship visiting and promotion and practical implementation of ILO on seafarer’s welfare.