The Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, as amended (MLC, 2006), a landmark international labour Convention, was adopted by the 94th (Maritime) Session of the International Labour Conference. The MLC, 2006 entered into force on 20 August 2013 and, as of December 2020, has been ratified by 97 countries representing more than 91 per cent of the world gross tonnage of ships. Sometimes called a “bill of rights” for seafarers, it sets out seafarers’ rights to decent conditions of work and helps to establish a level playing field for fair competition for shipowners. The MLC, 2006 was designed as a global legal instrument that has become the “fourth pillar” of the international regulatory regime for quality shipping, complementing the key Conventions of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The 2014, 2016 and 2018 Amendments to the Convention are also included in this edition.
The MLC, 2006 contains a comprehensive set of global standards, consolidating almost all the existing maritime labour Conventions and Recommendations that have been adopted since 1920, in a single new Convention with a new format and requirements that reflect modern conditions in the industry. The Convention establishes international requirements for decent work for all seafarers, including minimum terms in seafarers’ employment agreements, minimum age, medical fitness requirements, training, wages, leave, repatriation, on-board accommodation and catering, medical care, occupational safety and health, welfare and social security. An important innovative part of the Convention, Title 5, is devoted to compliance and enforcement requirements. These requirements were designed to achieve continuous “compliance awareness” at every stage from the national systems of protection up to the international system, including inspection of conditions on all ships as well as flag State certification, and port State inspection of labour conditions on ships that go on international voyages.
This compendium, an essential reference source, also includes the Seafarers’ Identity Documents Convention (Revised), 2003, as amended (No. 185), including the 2016 Amendments to its Annexes, the Work in Fishing Convention, 2007 (No. 188) and Recommendation, 2007 (No. 199), and the ILO’s fundamental Conventions.