The decision by the ILO to move forward to create this major new maritime labour Convention was the result of a joint resolution in 2001 by the international seafarers’ and shipowners’ organizations, later supported by governments. They pointed out that the shipping industry is “the world’s first genuinely global industry” which “requires an international regulatory response of an appropriate kind – global standards applicable to the entire industry”. The industry called on the ILO to develop “an instrument which brings together into a consolidated text as much of the existing body of ILO instruments as it proves possible to achieve” as a matter of priority “in order to improve the relevance of those standards to the needs of all the stakeholders of the maritime sector”. It was felt that the very large number of the existing maritime Conventions, many of which are very detailed, made it difficult for governments to ratify and to enforce all of the standards. Many of the standards were out of date and did not reflect contemporary working and living conditions on board ships. In addition, there was a need to develop a more effective enforcementa and compliance system that would help to eliminate substandard ships and that would work within the well-established international system for enforcement of the international standards for ship safety and security and environmental protection that have been adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).


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