IMO Legal Committee finalizes guidelines to protect seafarers

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The International Maritime Organization’s Legal Committee has finalized a new set of guidelines to ensure seafarers are protected against unfair treatment if detained in foreign jurisdictions on suspicion of committing a crime. Ms. Gillian Grant of Canada chaired the 111th session of the Committee where the fair treatment of seafarers was high on the agenda. The guidelines contain guidance for port States, flag States, coastal States, States of which the seafarer is a national, shipowners and seafarers.  They aim to protect seafarers’ right to due process during investigation and detention by public authorities.  The finalized guidelines will be submitted as a base document to the Joint ILO/IMO Tripartite Working Group to identify and address seafarers’ issues and the human element (JTWG) for further refinement. The JTWG will then submit the guidelines to the Legal Committee and to the ILO Governing Bodies for endorsement.

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