China will provide better security for seafarers

Updated: 2012-06-25 19:58

By Wang Xiaodong (

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China will increase international cooperation to safeguard the rights and interests of its 650,000 seafarers, said top seafarer officials in Shanghai on June 25.

"China will provide better security for its seafarers through international communication, and speed up the preparation work to ratify the Maritime Labor Convention established in 2006," said Xu Zuyuan, vice-minister of transport, at the second China Seafarer Conference hosted in Shanghai.

The conference was held on the Day of the Seafarer, which was set up in 2010 by the International Maritime Organization to pay tribute to seafarers all over the world for their contribution to international seaborne trade. It falls on June 25 every year.

China has completed 460 ship escort missions since 2008 in close cooperation with international ship escort forces, escorting 5,000 ships carrying a total of more than 100,000 seafarers through "sensitive waters", including the Gulf of Aden and the Mekong River, Xu said.

China has 650,000 seafarers, the most in the world, who are responsible for 93 percent of the transport for China's foreign trade, according to figures from the Ministry of Transport.

China will speed up legislative efforts to better protect the interests of seafarers, including accelerating procedures to ratify the Maritime Labor Convention, said Qiu Xiaoping, vice-minister of human resources and social security.

The Maritime Labor Convention, established by the International Labor Organization in 2006, aims to achieve both decent work for seafarers and secure economic interests in fair competition for quality ship owners. By the end of June 2012, the convention has been ratified by 28 International Labor Organization members.

Thirty states are required to ratify the convention for it to enter into force.