iloBarbados, Nigeria and South Africa have become the latest countries to ratify the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006.

The convention, which sets out minimum standards and conditions for seafarers (and is sometimes known as the “seafarers’ bill of rights”), is set to come into international law in August.

This is as a result of having received the minimum of 30 International Labour Organization (ILO) member state signatures (representing at least 33 per cent of world shipping) for it to take effect.

However, some major shipping trade countries, including the USA, United Kingdom and China, have yet to ratify it.

Thus the backing of the largest country (by population) in Africa (Nigeria) is an important sign.

The latest signatories bring the number of countries backing the MLC to 39, representing more than 70 per cent of world shipping.


Information from Safety4Sea was used in this report.