The Maritime Labour Convention and Open Registries: Hand in Glove or Chalk and CheeseIntroductionThe role of seafarers in the maritime sector cannot be overemphasized. The former Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization (imo), Efthimios Mitropoulos, has been quoted as saying that “seafarers are a lubricant without which the engine of trade would simply grind to a halt . . . seafarers are the unsung heroes of an unsung industry”.1 This is also why each year on June 25 the international community celebrates the “Day of the Seafarers” in recognition of the invaluable contribution seafarers make to international trade and the world economy.2 Despite this, the International Labour Organization (ilo) has acknowledged that many seafarers are vulnerable to exploitation and abuse, non-payment of wages, non-compliance with contracts, exposure to poor diet and living conditions, and sometimes being abandoned in foreign ports.3Seafarers are vulnerable to increased risks in employment, prosecution under different jurisdictions, blame for accidents and pollution, exposure to piracy, robbery, hostage risks, rape, assault and murder. Due to the violations and exploitations that seafarers are facing, governments, ship owners and seafarers were prompted to act. In 2006, during the 94th Maritime Session of the ilo Conference, the international community adopted the Maritime
The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law – Brill
Published: Feb 19, 2015
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