The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Maritime Organization (Imo) Propose New Measures to Address Shipboard Violence, Harassment, and Se*xual Assault

Credits: International Justice Resource Center

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) have issued a list of comprehensive recommendations to protect seafarers from violence and harassment.

These recommendations include amendments to the ILO Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006), in line with the ILO Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019 (No. 190), new mandatory training for seafarers, and additional guidance for shipowners.

These recommendations were developed during a Joint ILO/IMO Tripartite Working Group (JTWG) meeting held at the IMO Headquarters in London, United Kingdom.

International Labour Organization Members (Credits: IndustriALL Global Union)

Representatives from governments, shipowners, and seafarers attended the meeting. The two organizations also committed to launching a joint international awareness campaign to combat violence and harassment, including se*xual harassment, bullying, and s*xual assault, in the maritime sector.

IMO Secretary-General Arsenio Dominguez emphasized the commitment to creating a safe and respectful working environment on board ships, noting that this is a moral imperative and a practical necessity for the industry’s sustainable growth.

ILO Director-General Gilbert F. Houngbo welcomed the recommended action, highlighting the urgent need to ensure that seafarers have a safe working and living environment.

He particularly welcomed the possible amendments to the MLC, 2006, to adapt Convention No. 190 to the maritime sector, which would strengthen protection against violence and harassment, including s*xual harassment, bullying, and s*xual assault, ensuring seafarers’ right to decent work and increasing the attractiveness of the industry.

The recommendations address the increasing awareness of violence and harassment occurring on ships globally, which compound the already challenging working conditions for seafarers.

The IMO and ILO’s efforts aim to create a safer and more respectful environment for seafarers, promote their well-being, and enhance the maritime industry’s attractiveness.

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