Restrictions of seafarers rights in a pandemic condition

Savych Olga

National University «Odessa Maritime Academy»

Toropenko Diana

National University "Odessa Maritime Academy"

UDC 331.55:331.5:330.34:332.1

Summary. This article focuses on the research about the circumstances in worldwide shipping and restrictions on the rights of seafarers in case of COVID-19 pandemic. The main document relating to the working conditions of seafarers is the Maritime Labor Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006). According to the Convention — derogations, exceptions, or other provisions that allow the flexible application of the provisions of the Convention must be adopted with mandatory consultation between the governments of the countries that ratified the Convention. According to the MLC — derogations, exceptions, or other provisions that allow the flexible application of the Convention's norms should be adopted with obligatory consultation between the government of the country that has ratified the Convention, shipowners associations, and seafarers' unions.The COVID-19 pandemic — is a force majeure and makes it impossible to comply with some of the obligations set out in the Maritime Labor Convention, 2006. Seafarers’ rights to medical care, rights to a safe and secure workplace, repatriation, social protection, to remuneration - are analyzed in the article. The problems faced by seafarers during the pandemic: safety and health, inability to receive medical care in case of illness, violation of the right to repatriation, long stay on board, fatigue, which affects navigation safety and ship management. The most common restrictions faced by seafarers and the measures taken by states that have ratified the Maritime Labor Convention, 2006, are identified: no access on/off-board to perform seafarers duties under the contract or for repatriation; inability to access to the shore at port area; non-ability to get emergency medical care; overtime stay on board; inability to prolongation of seafarers' documents and certificates. The article also highlights the standpoints & recommendations of the International Labor Organization and restrictions, measures that have been taken by States to protect the seafarers’ rights. ÑOVID-19 pandemic has caused a humanitarian crisis in which more than 400,000 seafarers have been trapped aboard ships unable to return home; about the same number of seafarers lost their jobs, without an ability to leave countries to replace the crews.

This article is available for reading only in Ukrainian.

Published in: «Young Scientist», ¹ 12 (88), 2020

28 April, 2021
Ukrainian maritime bar association