The International Labour Organization (ILO) has made progress in improving arrangements for shore leave for seafarers. At a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, employers, trade unions and governments agreed a common approach to improving ILO Convention 185, which covers identity documents for seafarers, enabling access to shore leave.
The recommendations, which now go through the ILO for discussion before implementation, would bring seafarers’ identity documents in line with e-passports. This acknowledgment of the current electronic technology should help encourage member states to ratify Convention 185, which has received little take up since it was adopted in 2003. The recommendations should improve the welfare of seafarers taking shore leave and in transit, as well as addressing the security concerns of member states.
Welcoming the moves, ITF seafarers’ section chair David Heindel said they “should help persuade states that ratification is sensible and in everyone’s best interests”.
The outcome of the meeting was also welcomed by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS).