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Int’l mechanism crucial to ensure maritime workers’ rights

Update: June, 24/2016 - 19:00
Ambassador Nguyễn Trung Thành

HÀ NỘI — The Head of the Vietnamese delegation to the United Nations, Ambassador Nguyễn Trung Thành, called on the world community to create an international mechanism to ensure the rights of fishermen.

The diplomat spoke during an international seminar on ensuring safety in the workplace for workers. The event was hosted jointly by Việt Nam and by the International Labour Organisation in Geneva on Wednesday, on the sidelines of the ongoing 32nd session of the UN Human Rights Council.

Ambassador Thành called for stronger international cooperation against piracy and in search and rescue missions. He also called for support from relevant international organisations and countries, especially regarding resources and professional skills.

"All parties should abide by international law and conduct, when it comes to disputes and overlapping sovereignty," he said.

Sea-based workers are vulnerable to increasing natural disasters, piracy and other risks, according to the Ambassador.

Maritime workers also face obstacles, especially in developing countries. Many fishermen live in appalling conditions, without health care services or adequate wages.

Meanwhile, the 2006 Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) only applies to crew members of ships weighing more than 500 tonnes - not to fishermen. No international convention has been introduced to ensure fishermen’s rights.

Seminar participants - including more than 30 Geneva-based permanent delegations from various countries and international organisations - praised Vietnam and the ILO for organising the seminar, given that protecting maritime workers’ rights in Southeast Asia and in the world is challenging. — VNS


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