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International Maritime Organization's Legal Committee to discuss seafarers cases of abandonment at sea

Author: Safety4Sea (Greece), Published on: 3 May 2018

'Seafarers abandonment at the centre of IMO Legal Committee' 24 Apr 2018

The increase in the number of reported cases of abandonment of seafarers is being highlighted at the 105th session of IMO's Legal Committee, currently underway, from 23 to 25 April. A joint International Labour Organization (ILO)/IMO database recorded 55 such cases during 2017, against an average 19 annually during the preceding three years. Seafarers may be left without proper supply of food and fresh water, without wages and resources for their families and with no prospect of being repatriated. Amendments to the ILO Maritime Labour Convention (MLC 2006) requires shipowners to have compulsory insurance to cover abandonment of seafarers, as well as claims for death or long-term disability of seafarers. These amendments were based on guidelines which were developed by a joint IMO/ILO working group, which reported to both IMO's Legal Committee and ILO's governing bodies.The Legal Committee will also consider the fair treatment of seafarers in the event of a maritime incident. IMO has issued guidelines on fair treatment, but, in some cases, seafarers have been detained or imprisoned, facing criminal charges without legal assistance or other support.

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