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Indonesia ratifies ILO Convention n°185 on Seafarers’ identity documents

The Government of Indonesia today handed over the instrument of ratification of the Seafarers' Identity Documents Convention (Revised), 2003 (No. 185) of the International Labour Organization.

News | 16 July 2008

JAKARTA, Indonesia (ILO News) ─ The Government of Indonesia today handed over the instrument of ratification of the Seafarers' Identity Documents Convention (Revised), 2003 (No. 185) of the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Convention N°185 is the first international binding instrument providing for a global mandatory identification system for a category of workers. It puts in place a comprehensive security system containing a biometric identifier that enables the positive identification of seafarers holding the document.

The Convention is designed to strengthen security measures in the maritime transport sector. For maritime workers, the Convention not only ensures their rights and privileges but also facilitates their mobility while travelling to join their ship, return home and go ashore in foreign ports. For shipowners, it facilitates global shipping operations.

This ratification brings to 14 the number of countries that have either ratified or declared applicable this Convention adopted by governments, workers and employers of ILO member States at the 91st International Labour Conference in Geneva in June 2003.

“I heartily welcome this ratification by Indonesia. It demonstrates the commitment by the Government of Indonesia to ensure decent work for its seafarers while contributing to enhancing maritime security” says ILO Director-General, Juan Somavia, on receiving the instrument of ratification.

“With this ratification, Indonesia can now begin issuance of Seafarers’ Identity Documents to its seafarers. This will permit Indonesian seafarers to have shore leave at seaports and this means that they can go to hospitals for medical treatment, mail letters to their families back home and report on any piracy and smuggling activities to the authorities”, says the Indonesian Transportation Minister Jusman Safii Djamal.

The Indonesian Ambassador I Gusti Agung Wesaka Puja, Deputy Permanent Representative, representing the Government of Indonesia, in submitting this instrument of ratification stated that: “This ratification will strengthen the commitment of the Government of Indonesia to protect the increasing number of Indonesian seafarers all over the world. In this respect, the Government of Indonesia stood ready to cooperate more closely with the ILO.”

Indonesia is currently the largest supplier of sea-going maritime personnel worldwide among the countries which ratified the Convention. More than 50,000 Indonesian seafarers are now entitled to a Seafarers’ Identity Document (SID), including a large number of passenger vessel staff.

Across the globe, potentially over 1.5 million seafarers would be entitled to an ILO compliant SID. With progress towards ratification by other major maritime labour supplying countries as well as other maritime countries, the SID is achieving the objective of providing a reliable proof of identity to seafarers thus increasing maritime and border security and facilitating world trade and the decent work of seafarers.