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EU Adds Law To Protect Seafarers' Rights

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

30 January 2014

The European Union's Council of Ministers has adopted a Decision authorizing member states to ratify the International Labor Organization Convention concerning fair and decent work for domestic workers (Convention No. 189).

In June 2012, in the context of the EU Strategy towards the Eradication of Trafficking in Human Beings, the Commission urged member states to ratify all relevant international instruments, agreements and legal obligations which will contribute to addressing trafficking in human beings, including the Domestic Workers Convention. The Convention will add to legislation for the maritime sector endorsed by the Commission in recent years, including the Seafarers' Identity Documents Convention (No. 185), the Maritime Labor Convention 2006, and the Work in Fishing Convention.

"Improving working conditions in personal services is a key objective for the Commission," said László Andor, Commissioner for employment, social affairs and inclusion. "I therefore welcome this decision, which paves the way for ratification of the ILO Convention by EU member states and contributes to fighting trafficking in human beings. I urge member states to implement this Convention as soon as possible".

To implement the Convention, states ratifying the Convention will have to ensure that domestic workers:

  • Receive equal treatment with other workers as regards compensation and benefits, for example in the case of maternity;
  • Are informed of the terms and details of their employment;
  • Are protected against discrimination;
  • Are offered decent living conditions; and
  • Have easy access to complaint mechanisms.

Finally, the Convention sets out rules regarding foreign recruitment.

TAGS: marine | agreements | services | Employment | Europe | Work

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