The International Labour Organisation (ILO) will stand side-by-side with Vietnam to realise the Maritime Labour Convention, which came into effect on August 20, 2013.

ILO Vietnam Director Gyorgy Sziraczki made the pledge in Hanoi on August 20 while congratulating Vietnam on becoming the 37th country to ratify the convention.

He spoke highly of the country’s efforts in improving its fleet of vessels to meet international standards and protect cruise workers.

The effectiveness of the convention, which aims to protect the rights of 1.5 million cruise workers in the world and guarantee equal competitiveness between ship owners, will open up a new era, ensuring sustainable jobs for sailors, he said.

According to the Vietnam Maritime Department, Vietnam, which boasts a coastline of more than 3,200km, is home to 37 sea ports, including 170 harbours.

Vietnam’s fleet of 1,700 ships can meets one tenth of the country’s export volume and nearly half of the goods transported within the country. Fifty percent of the fleet often travel international routes.

About 20,000 crew members on Vietnamese cruises, of which 6,271 belong to the Vietnam Ship Owners’ Association, are working on both domestic and international ships.

Earlier on July 25, the Prime Minister signed a decision to approve a plan to implement the Maritime Labour Convention.-VNA