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Republic Of The Congo Ratifies The Maritime Labour Convention, 2006

The Republic of the Congo deposited with the International Labour Office the instrument of ratification of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006).

The Republic of the Congo is the 57th member State of the ILO, and the ninth African state – after Liberia, Gabon, Benin, Togo, Morocco, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa – to have ratified the MLC, 2006. The country has a commercial fleet of 5,846 gross tons. The MLC, 2006 constitutes the fourth pillar of the international maritime legal regime together with the basic conventions of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) which establish international standards on the training and certification of seafarers, on safety and security at sea and on the prevention of pollution from ships.

In depositing the instrument of ratification of the MLC, 2006, Mr Martin Parfait Aimé COUSSOUD-MAVOUNGOU, Minister in charge of the Merchant Marine stated: “The Republic of the Congo is a coastal state with 170 km of coastline. Its autonomous port of Pointe-Noire serves the entire West and Central African sub-regions. The MLC, 2006 is of major importance because it guarantees the right to decent work for all seafarers. They must enjoy fundamental freedom and rights to which all persons are entitled, special protection and social rights. Oil exploitation, traditional and commercial fishing, maritime professions and auxiliary professions in maritime transport constitute without doubt major sources of employment and employers of sea and shore personnel.”

In receiving the instrument of ratification, Mr Guy Ryder, Director-General of the ILO stated: “I am particularly happy to see another African country joining the global effort to promote decent working and living conditions for seafarers. By ratifying the MLC, 2006, the Republic of the Congo demonstrates the commitment of its Government and social partners to support international standards, improve working and living conditions of seafarers and to promote a level playing field for shipowners. I hope that the ratification of the MLC, 2006 will stimulate the country’s maritime industry as a potential source of employment, especially following the inauguration on 9 December 2011 of a highly modern training centre for seafarers at the autonomous port of Pointe-Noire.”

The MLC, 2006 entered into force on 20 August 2013 for the first 30 member States that had registered their ratifications by 20 August 2012. The Convention will enter into force for the Republic of the Congo on 7 April 2015, that is, one year after its ratification.

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