Labour Day Special: Seafarers taken Hostage by Pirates to get full wages during captivity – ILO


Seafarers held captive by pirates will be paid all their contractual entitlements, it was agreed at the third meeting of the Special Tripartite Committee of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Geneva.

The committee has decided to introduce a new amendment to the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006, thus enabling the contractual gap for seafarers who are taken hostage by pirates to be covered.

It was determined that wages and other contractual entitlements will continue to be paid during the entire period of captivity for seafarers who are held captive on or off a ship as a result of an act of piracy or armed robbery against ships.

The amendment will now be submitted to the next session of the International Labour Conference for adoption.

This will provide the families of victims, the necessary means of survival to partially alleviate the unbelievable psychological distress they undergo whilst their loved ones are held hostages, the ITF said.

“This result has been a critical step forward for seafarer protections. With the agreement of the shipowners and member states, we managed to secure an amendment on wage protections, a resolution on shore leave, one on crew abandonment and one for the inland navigation sector, which will provide a way forward for our colleagues working on tugs and inland equipment. Overall, I believe the week was successful for all in the maritime sector,” Dave Heindel, chair of the ITF seafarers’ section, said.

Furthermore, during the meeting, the Seafarers Group and the Ship Owners Group have jointly submitted three resolutions to draw the attention and to call for action by the governments on issues like the facilitation of shore leave for seafarers and seafarer abandonment.

The Seafarers Group has also tabled a resolution concerning the decent work in the inland navigation sector, drawing the attention on the importance of internal waterways as a sustainable mode of transport for both of cargo and passengers, calling for the ILO to consider convening a sectoral meeting to discuss the matter.

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