At the ILO in Geneva a tripartite meeting of employers, trade unions and governments agreed a common approach to improving ILO Convention 185 on seafarers’ identity documents, in order to improve the welfare of seafarers, while at the same time assisting nations maintain their security. The recommendations now pass to the ILO governing body for study and a decision on their implementation.
ITF seafarers’ section chair David Heindel explained: “ILO 185 has two key aims: to uphold security and allow the deserved and necessary passage of seafarers on shore leave and in transit. However, its take up has been underwhelming. These latest recommendations, which would bring seafarers’ identity documents in line with e-passports, should help persuade states that ratification is sensible and in everyone’s best interests.”
He continued: “We hope that the major port and transit states will join us in reassuring the labour supplying states that their investment in seafarers’ identity document technology will not be wasted, and the original ideals of the convention will be met.”
A statement from the Chamber of Shipping in support of the recommendations can be seen at www.ics-shipping.org/news/press-releases/2015/02/09/ics-hopes-for-progress-on-facilitation-of-shore-leave-and-movement-of-seafarers