AMSA Reports Decrease in MLC Breach Complaints in 2023

Complaints of breaches against the Maritime Labour Convention on ships decreased in 2023, according to the Australia Maritime Safety Authority's latest report. The report highlights a decrease in complaints, with the majority originating from seafarers themselves. Western Australia received the most complaints, and bulk carriers had the highest complaint rate.
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The Australia Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has reported a decrease in complaints regarding breaches of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) on ships in 2023 compared to the previous year. The AMSA MLC Annual Report 2023 analyzed complaints received by AMSA and inspection activities to ensure MLC compliance in Australian waters, as well as the agency’s follow-up actions. The report showed an 18% decrease in complaints, with 214 complaints in 2023 compared to 261 in the previous year. The most common complaints were related to breaches of employment conditions, such as issues with wages, hours worked, and hours of rest while at sea.

Most of the complaints in 2023 were from seafarers themselves, indicating a trust in Australia’s reputation for taking seafarer welfare seriously. Western Australia received the most complaints, with bulk carriers being the vessel type with the highest complaint rate. AMSA issued 1,030 MLC-related deficiencies during port state control inspections in 2023, leading to 11 detentions. The MLC is an International Labour Organization treaty ratified by 104 member states, including Australia. The data and findings from the 2023 MLC Annual Report will be used in AMSA’s next National Compliance Plan, to be published later this year.

Overall, the report highlights improvements in MLC compliance in Australian waters, with a decrease in complaints and increased awareness among seafarers. The findings will be crucial in shaping future actions to ensure seafarer welfare and adherence to the MLC. The report also underscores the importance of international treaties like the MLC in promoting fair working conditions for seafarers worldwide. The full report can be accessed on the AMSA website for further details.

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