DOLE calls for fair treatment of seafarers

Date Posted: November 23rd, 2018 08:47 AM


Emphasizing the need for ethical treatment of Filipino seafarers around the world, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III called on stakeholders to uphold the Guidelines on the Fair Treatment of Seafarers prescribed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and International Labor Organization (ILO).

 

This after the Department of Labor and Employment, together with the Seafarer’s Rights International (SRI), led a regional meeting with maritime industry stakeholders and came up with the Manila Statement on the Fair Treatment of Seafarers in the Event of a Maritime Accident.

 

According to SRI, an international pan-industry body researching maritime and seafarers’ law, it is an inherent risk in the working lives of seafarers that they may be subjected to criminal charges either of a professional or a non-professional nature, simply from carrying out their duties. This was affirmed during the regional meeting.

 

The Manila Statement aims to raise awareness; develop further education, training, and human capacity; and extend and develop cooperation among stakeholders on the proper and effective implementation of the IMO and ILO guidelines.

 

The guidelines, which are voluntary, do not seek to interfere with any State’s domestic, criminal, or civil law. Instead, they balance the rights and obligations of stakeholders to whom the Guidelines are addressed, namely port and coastal states, flag states, the seafarers’ states, ship-owners, and seafarers.

 

“Given the unique characteristics of the Philippines as a flag and a labor supplying State, and with the cooperation of all Asian nations through your representations, we can make the guidelines on fair treatment of seafarers as enshrined in the Manila Declaration on the Protection of Seafarers a success,” said DOLE Secretary Bello.

 

Among the recommendations during the meeting are for member states to honor and commit to enforce legal agreements and instruments such as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), IMO Resolutions, among others; raise awareness on the fair treatment of seafarers at local, regional, and international levels; identify best practices that promote safety and well-being of seafarers; and better data management and information sharing.

 

Other recommendations are the amendment of the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 and the enactment of the Magna Carta for Filipino Seafarers. 

 

Deirdre Fitzpatrick, Executive Director of SRI, said that the announcement of the Manila Statement on the Fair Treatment of Seafarers is a crucial step in the fight to raise awareness over the fair treatment of seafarers.

 

Meanwhile, Stephen Cotton, General Secretary of the International Transport Workers Federation, welcomed the Manila Statement and called for the creation of an implementation plan to roll out the agreements and ensure that every seafarer feels the benefits of what has been discussed in the meeting.

 

Attended by delegates from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Brunei and Indonesia, tripartite partners, shipping industry representatives, academe, international organizations, resident ambassadors, and Philippine government officials, the regional meeting is a follow-through to the Workshop on the Fair Treatment of Seafarers held at the International Maritime Organization last June 23, 2017 in London.

 

As of 2015, out of the 1.5 million seafarers worldwide, a total of 406,531 are Filipinos.  END/aldm

 

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Patas na trato sa mga seafarer, hiniling ng DOLE

 

Kasabay ng pagbibigay diin sa kahalagahan ng tamang pagtrato sa mga Pilipinong seafarer sa buong mundo, nanawagan si Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III sa mga stakeholder na isabuhay ang Guidelines on the Fair Treatment of Seafarers na itinatakda ng International Maritime Organization (IMO) at ng International Labor Organization (ILO).

 

Kasunod ito ng ginanap na regional meeting na pinangunahan ng Department of Labor and Employment, at ng Seafarer’s Rights International (SRI), kasama ng mga maritime industry stakeholder kung saan nagkasundo ang lahat upang mabuo ang Manila Statement para sa patas na pagtrato ng mga seafarers sa panahon ng isang maritime accident.

 

Batay sa SRI, isang international pan-industry body na nakatuon sa pagkalap ng impormasyon kaugnay sa maritime at seafarers’ law, kadalasan umanong nahaharap sa panganib at kasong criminal ang mga seafarer maging sa professional o non-professional nature nang dahil lamang sa pagtalima nila sa kanilang mga tungkulin. Pinagtibay rin ito sa ginanap na regional meeting.

 

Ang Manila Statement ay may layong linangin ang kamalayan; paigtingin ang edukasyon, training, at human capacity; at palaganapin ang kooperasyon sa mga stakeholder kaugnay sa tama at epektibong implementasyon ng mga panuntunan ng IMO at ILO.

 

Ang mga panuntunan na boluntaryong ipinatutupad ay hindi naglalayong makaapekto sa anumang criminal o civil law ng isang estado o komunidad. Sa halip, binabalanse nito ang karapatan at obligasyon ng mga stakeholder na kabilang sa nasabing panuntunan, kasama rito ang port at coastal states, flag states, seafarers’ states, ship-owner, at ang mga seafarer.

“Dahil sa naiibang karakter ng Pilipinas bilang isang labor supplying State, at kasama ng kooperasyon ng lahat nasyon sa Asya sa pamamagitan ng kanilang mga kinatawan, sama sama nating maisasakatuparan ang mga panuntunan sa patas na pagtrato ng mga seafarer na siya ring nakapaloob sa Manila Declaration on the Protection of Seafarers,” wika ni DOLE Secretary Bello.

 

Kabilang sa mga rekomendasyon sa ginanap na pulong ay para sa mga member state na ipatupad ang mga legal agreement at instrument tulad ng United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), IMO Resolution, at iba pa; paglinang ng kamalayan sa patas na pagtrato sa mga seafarer sa local, regional, at international level; mabatid ang mga best practices na nagtataguyod ng kaligtasan at kapakanan ng mga seafarer; at maayos na data management at information sharing.

 

Kasama rin sa rekomendasyon ay ang pag-amyenda sa Maritime Labour Convention 2006 at at pagpapatupad ng Magna Carta para sa mga Pilipinong Seafarer.  

 

Sinabi ni Deirdre Fitzpatrick, Executive Director ng SRI, na ang pag-anunsyo ng Manila Statement on the Fair Treatment of Seafarers ay isang mahalagang hakbangin upang malinang ang kamalayan kaugnay sa patas na pagtrato sa mga seafarer.

 

Samantala, pinuri naman ni Stephen Cotton, General Secretary ng International Transport Workers Federation ang Manila Statement at inirekomenda ang pagbuo sa isang plano na magpapatupad ng mga kasunduan at matiyak na lahat ng mga seafarer ay nakukuha ang mga benepisyong napag-usapan sa naganap na pulong.

 

Dumalo sa nasabing pulong ang mga delegasyon mula sa Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Brunei at Indonesia, tripartite partner, mga kinatawan mula sa shipping industry, academe, international organization, resident ambassador, at mga opisyal ng pamahalaan ng Pilipinas. 

 

Ang regional meeting ay ang kasunod na aktibidad matapos ang Workshop on the Fair Treatment of Seafarers na ginanap sa International Maritime Organization noong Hunyo 23, 2017 sa London.

 

Nitong taong 2015, mula sa 1.5 milliong seafarer sa buong mundo, may kabuuang 406,531 rito ang mga Pilipino. 

 

END/aldm/ Paul Ang

 


 

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