By Awa B. Bah
Deputies at the National Assembly on Thursday June 28th, ratified the Maritime Labour Convention of 2006 and the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification on Watch Keeping, for shipping vessel personnel, tabled by the Minister of Works, Bai Lamin Jobe.
It could be recalled that the International Labour Organization (ILO), promoted and adopted laws on decent condition at work places and this came into force in 2013 after being ratified by thirty states, in order to create a single coherent instrument that embodies up to date standards of existing International Maritime Labour Conventions and recommendations.
In tabling it before members for consideration and ratification, Minister Jobe said the convention upholds the fundamental principles found in other international labour conventions such as the first labour convention of 1913, the freedom of association and protection of the right to organize conventions of 1948 and the right to organize, and collective bargaining convention of 1949.
On the international convention on standards of training, certification on watch keeping for shipping vessels personnel 1995, the minister said fishing vessels are specialized marine crafts, designed to commercially engage in catching fish and other living natural resources of the rivers and seas.
In further convincing members, Jobe said the convention aims to promotes and secure the rights of all other duty bearers and sailors; that the convention protects the continuity of employment and the convention of sailors and merchant ships, as well as other rights which are established as fundamental rights with freedom, applicable to all persons; that the convention comprises three different but similarly related parts such as the articles, the regulations and the codes; that the convention will enable the country issue certificates to sea farers, after being examine and granted approval by our local health facilities about their fitness for such works. He urged members to consider and ratify the conventions as there is no financial implication to be incurred for the country and that it will address challenging issues surrounding training and certification standards for watch keepers, and reduce sea causalities.
After a bitter debate, members commended the Minister for tabling a timely convention that will go a long way, in safeguarding the usage and integrity of the country’s water resources.