During IMO Legal Committee 102nd Session



IMO held the 102nd Session of its Legal Committee from 14-16 April 2015 in London where encouraged Member States, who had not yet done so, to give effect to the 2006 Guidelines on fair treatment of seafarers in the event of a maritime accident, adopted jointly by IMO and the International Labour Organization (ILO).

The Committee was informed of the analysis of replies from Member States to the survey circulated by Seafarers' Rights International (SRI) on behalf of the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) and the International Federation of Shipmasters' Associations (IFSMA) concerning the 2006 Guidelines.

The survey of replies analysed 45 responses, representing 26% of the Member States of IMO. Of those, 13 Member States (29% of the respondents), representing a wide range of different legal systems, stated that their existing laws already adequately protect the human and other legal rights of seafarers contained in the Guidelines and that, therefore, there was no need for the Guidelines to be passed into their existing laws. Seventeen Member States (38% of the respondents) have passed the Guidelines, either in whole or in part, into their national laws, either explicitly or implicitly.

Fifteen Member States (33% of the respondents) requested assistance in the form of information regarding the meaning of the Guidelines and/or model legislation by the IMO for the purpose of giving effect to the Guidelines.

The Committee concluded that further consideration was needed regarding the progressive removal of legislation targeting seafarers and imposing criminal sanctions on them. It was also highlighted that seafarers should be given greater training and awareness of their rights.

The Committee supported the speedy implementation of the guidelines and noted with gratitude the willingness of the shipping industry bodies to contribute financially towards work to support the wide implementation of the guidelines.

The view was expressed that IMO's technical cooperation programme could be used to support implementation while a number of States informed the Committee that they were ready to share their national legislation giving effect to the guidelines.

Find more information about all issues discussed during IMO Legal Committee, 102nd Session by clicking here.

Source: IMO

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