Under the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (‘MLC’):
- A seafarer has the right to an on board complaints procedure to complain about breaches of their rights under the MLC.
- On board complaint procedures must aim to resolve complaints at the lowest level possible, but seafarers must be able to directly complain to the master, the shipowner and, if necessary, to appropriate external authorities.
- Under the on board complaints procedure seafarers have the:
- right to be accompanied or represented during the complaints procedure;
- right not to be victimized for filing a complaint;
- right to confidentiality throughout the process; and
- right to seek redress for a complaint using whatever legal means the seafarer considers appropriate.
- Seafarers must receive a copy of the on board complaint procedures applicable on their ship.
- There should be a person on board the ship who has been nominated to advise seafarers on the procedures available to them.
- A complaint should as a minimum:
- be addressed to the head of the department or to the seafarer’s superior officer; and
- include personal details, ship details, details regarding the complaint, witnesses and any supporting documentation
- If the addressee cannot resolve the matter, the complaint should be referred to the master or ashore.
- The complaint must be recorded and a written copy provided to the seafarer at every stage of the process.
See Regulation 5.1.5 of the MLC.
For more information
See the ILO Frequently Asked Questions (section C5.2) at http://www.ilo.org/global/standards/maritime-labour-convention/what-it-does/faq/WCMS_177371/lang–en/index.htm