The First Regional Meeting on the Fair Treatment of Seafarers was held in Manila on 13 November 2018. It was co-hosted by the Philippine Department of Labor and Employment and SRI. Over 250 people attended, including senior Government representatives from 11 countries in the region (Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Vietnam); as well as Ambassadors and Embassy staff from 32 other Governments. Also present were shipowners and their representatives; very senior representatives of the judiciary; many university professors and educators; auditors; seafarers; masters and many students.
Video messages were delivered to the meeting from Kitack Lim, Secretary General of the IMO and Corinne Vargha, Director of Labor Standards of the International Labor Organization.
A keynote statement was delivered to the meeting from Philippine President His Excellency Rodrigo Roa Duterte.
Senior figures from seafaring nations around the region pledged to lead the drive towards proper and effective implementation of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and International Labor Organization (ILO) agreed Guidelines on the Fair Treatment of Seafarers.
Issuing the first ever Manila Statement on the Fair Treatment of Seafarers, senior government representatives from more than 10 countries in the region said the time was right for action to be taken to protect their seafarers.