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Updating the International Seafarers' Code: Recent Developments

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image of The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law

Maritime labour matters have traditionally been of particular importance as far as the ILO's standard-setting function is concerned. To date, the ILO has adopted a total of 39 conventions and 30 recommendations-a body of labour standards known as the International Seafarer's Code-addressing the specific problems related to the working and living conditions of seafarers. The 84th (Maritime) session of the International Labour Conference, held in October 1996, undertook to revise core issues of this body of standards in the light of rapidly changing practices and needs of the maritime sector. This article traces briefly the negotiating history and highlights some of the most salient aspects of the new conventional instruments such as the setting of the minimum age for seafarers at 16 years, the adoption of a convention for the first time on labour inspection, the establishment of daily and weekly limitations on hours of work, the extension of port state control (as provided for in ILO Convention 147) in matters concerning hours of work and manning, or the recognition of private placement services for seafarers.

Affiliations: 1: International Labour Office


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