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ITF reports increase MLC-related problems in year two of the convention

ITF reports increase MLC-related problems in year two of the convention
The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) says that the number of Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) related problems found by its inspectors increased last year.

ITF maritime coordinator Jacqueline Smith said that the number of MLC-related problems found in the second year (20 August 2014 – 19 August 2015) of enforcement of the convention had increased both in terms of numbers and as a percentage of inspections.

In the second year 2,755 vessels, some 36% of those inspected, were found to have MLC-related problems an increase of 4% over the first year.

“The ITF had expected that the increase in flag states to which the convention applies would have resulted in an improvement in the standards of living and working conditions for seafarers on board their vessels, but based on the number of problems received, this unfortunately does not seem to be the case,” Smith said at the ICS conference during London International Shipping Week (LISW).

“An optimistic explanation for the increase might be that the convention provides mechanisms that make it easier for seafarers to make complaints. If this is the case, then we can only speculate how many problems went unaddressed prior to the entry into force,” she added.

The flag-state with highest number of reported problems was Panama, while St Kitts and Nevis was the worst performer in percentage terms.