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"Seafarers' Bill of Rights" Near Adoption

Five hundred fifty-one delegates representing governments, ship operators and owners, and seafarers attended a ILO meeting in Geneva, and agreed on the new draft convention for adoption of the "Seafarers' Bill of Rights." The new convention is considered to be "an ambitious instrument" that would consolidate key principals and rights found in over 60 existing conventions and regulations, which have been developed over the last eighty years. The "Bill of Rights" will cover a variety of different subjects and will emphasis compliance and enforcement measures aimed at ensuring that all countries and shipowners provide decent working conditions for all seafarers. The meeting in Geneva included the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), which approved the convention last month in its executive meeting in Manila. The convention also included the issue of social security coverage of seafarers, which was agreed upon by the flag state administrations, employers, and labor supply countries. The "Seafarers' Bill of Rights will adopt the convention by 2006.