Labour standards

Republic of Korea ratifies the ILO Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006)

The Republic of Korea is the 56th ILO member State, and the 14th country from the Asia-Pacific region, to ratify the Convention

News | 10 January 2014
On 9 January 2014, the Government of the Republic of Korea deposited with the International Labour Office the instrument of ratification of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006). The Republic of Korea is the 56th ILO member State, and the 14th country from the Asia-Pacific region, to ratify the Convention. With Korea’s ratification, the world gross tonnage of ships registered in States parties to the MLC, 2006 now exceeds 80 per cent. As a major seafaring nation, the Republic Korea has the eighth largest merchant fleet in terms of number of ships, and the 14th in terms of gross tonnage. The Republic of Korea is also home to some of the world’s leading shipbuilding companies that cater for approximately one-third of global ship orders.

In depositing the instrument of ratification, Ambassador Yeonchul Yoo, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva, stated: “As a leading country in the shipping industry and shipbuilding industry the Republic of Korea is determined to provide decent working and living conditions for seafarers by ratifying the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006. Given that the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, consolidated 68 related Conventions and Recommendations we are confident that implementing the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, will significantly contribute to improving seafarers’ rights and eliminating substandard shipping.”

In receiving the instrument of ratification, Ms Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, Director of the International Labour Standards Department stated: “The ratification of the MLC, 2006 by the Republic of Korea provides a major boost to the momentum that has been generated to bring all major players on board in promoting and realizing decent work at sea for all seafarers and a level playing field for shipowners. Korea is an important maritime country with a significant fleet, some of the world’s top shipyards and also a major supplier of seafarers. It has thus a truly integrated, dynamic and flourishing maritime sector. I also take this opportunity to acknowledge the particularly active contribution of the Korean Government throughout the preparatory work that led to the adoption of the Convention as well as the generous support for the implementation of the ILO Action Plan to achieve rapid and widespread ratification and effective implementation of the MLC, 2006, including its training courses for maritime labour inspectors and lawyers at the Maritime Labour Academy of the ILO’s Training Centre of the ILO in Turin, Italy. I am therefore convinced that the ratification of the MLC, 2006 by the Republic of Korea will give a further impetus to the Convention and the global effort for the materialization of its noble objectives.”

The MLC, 2006 entered into force on 20 August 2013 for the first 30 member States that had registered their ratification by 20 August 2012. The Convention will enter into force for the Republic of Korea on 9 January 2015, that is, one year after its ratification. For more background information, please visit the dedicated MLC webpage at /mlc