ITF hails PHL decision to ratify ILO Convention 185

January 27, 2012 10:54 pm 

MANILA, Jan. 27 – The London-based International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) has hailed the Philippine government's decision to formally ratify the International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention 185.

This is also known as the Seafarers’ Identity Convention (Revised) 2003 which provides a uniform Seafarers’ Identity Document (SID) that ILO member-countries are required to issue to their seafarers.

“This is significant news. This move by the world's largest crew supply (an estimated 400,000 annually) country sends a strong signal to nations worldwide that seafarers' rights to shore leave and safe transit must be respected. At the same time the intention of the convention to enhance security has also been carried forward," ITF seafarers section sectary Jon Whitlow said.

He also said that ILO Convention 185 also spells out the requirements for ILO member-countries on how to establish processes and procedures for the issuance of SIDs.

All countries ratifying ILO Convention No. 185 will be required to issue new SIDs that conform to the requirements specified in ILO SID-0002, the standard which puts in place a comprehensive security system that enables the first global implementation of biometric identification technology on a mandatory basis, thus enabling positive identification of the seafarer that holds the document.

“The Philippines has done extensive work for the implementation of the ILO Convention 185 as preparation for its ratification. Because of this, Filipino seafarers will be able to move more easily around the world with this international document,” the Department of Labor and Employment earlier announced.

ILO Convention 185 revised the earlier Seafarers’ Identity Documents Convention, 1958 (No. 108).

The much needed changes in the new Convention relates to the identification of seafarers.

Under ILO Convention 185, the new SID carries a fingerprint-based biometric template, aside from the normal physical features for a modern machine-readable identity document, which was adopted with the agreement of the world’s ship owners and seafarer organizations.

This new SID must conform to an international standard enabling the biometric templates on a SID issued by one country to be correctly read by devices used in other countries. (PNA) scs/PFN


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