Fourth Meeting of the Special Tripartite Committee of the MLC, 2006 – Part I (19-23 April 2021)

Resolution concerning COVID-19 vaccination for seafarers


The Special Tripartite Committee established by the Governing Body of the ILO under Article XIII of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, as amended (MLC, 2006), on the occasion of the first part of its fourth meeting, which took place virtually from 19-23 April 2021,


Noting that, under Article XIII of the MLC, 2006, the Governing Body of the ILO shall keep the working of the MLC, 2006 under continuous review through this Committee,


Noting also Article I (2) of the MLC, 2006, which requires that ratifying States shall cooperate with each other for the purpose of ensuring the effective implementation and enforcement of the Convention; Article III which obliges ratifying States to respect the fundamental rights and principles; Article V (6) that requires that ratifying States shall prohibit violations of the requirements of the Convention,


Noting with great concern the threat posed to human health by COVID-19,


Recognizing the importance of maritime transport and the role of seafarers as key workers,


Stressing the challenging living and working conditions at sea faced by seafarers due to COVID-19,


Recalling the Joint Statement of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), of 25 March 20211, calling on Governments to prioritize seafarers and aircrew in their national COVID-19 vaccination programmes together with other essential workers,


Recalling the United Nations General Assembly Resolution on international cooperation to address challenges faced by seafarers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic to support global supply chains adopted on 1 December 20202, and the Resolution of the Governing Body of the International Labour Office concerning maritime labour issues and the COVID-19 pandemic adopted on 8 December 20203,

Mindful of difficulties with the rolling out of vaccination programmes, particularly in the countries of origin, residence or transit of seafarers and;


Conscious that combating the pandemic requires solidarity, multilateral cooperation and a collective response;



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Draft resolution submitted by the Government of Cyprus – Fourth Meeting of the STC, Part I

Recognizing the challenges relating to transport restrictions, availability of approved or authorized vaccines, the current two-stage vaccination process, which means that seafarers may be at different locations when they receive each dose and the uncertainty as to when they may be considered adequately protected;


Recognizing the ongoing need for governments and shipowners to continue to protect seafarers’ health and safety through preventative and protective measures;

Calls upon Members, in consultation and cooperation with shipowners’ and seafarers’ organizations, to carry out a mapping exercise, in order to assist with the procurement of adequate supplies of vaccines for the inoculation of seafarers in their country of residence or other appropriate location;

Calls upon all relevant UN bodies to recognize the need for a collective approach to secure the number of vaccines identified as being required by the mapping exercise;


Calls upon governments, in accordance with their national vaccination programmes, to make supplies of WHO Emergency Use List (WHO-EUL) vaccines available for seafarers on ships visiting ports in their territories, in order to facilitate necessary crew changes and minimise disruption to global supply chains;


Calls upon governments to consider establishing vaccination hubs for seafarers in ports where there is sufficient capacity, where significant numbers of ships call and where sufficient supplies of WHO-EUL vaccines can be made available;


Encourages States to accept vaccines given to seafarers by other States, particularly if a national, regional or other form of vaccine certification is required to permit movement of individuals;


Encourages governments, in consultation with shipowners’ and seafarers’ organizations and in coordination with the WHO and IMO, to consider the possibility of establishing an international programme for seafarers that will facilitate access to vaccination ashore, including where seafarers are joining or leaving a ship or taking shore leave; and


Calls upon Members to ensure that seafarers are provided with access to COVID-19 vaccination at the earliest opportunity.


Draft resolution submitted by the Government of Cyprus – Fourth Meeting of the STC, Part I