Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC 2006)

The ILO's Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC 2006) provides comprehensive rights and protection at work for more than 1.2 million of the world's seafarers. The Convention aims to achieve both decent work for seafarers and secure economic interests in fair competition for quality shipowners. The new labour standard consolidates and updates more than 68 international labour standards related to the Maritime sector adopted over the last 80 years.

The Convention sets out seafarers’ rights to decent conditions of work on a wide range of subjects, and aims to be globally applicable, easily understood, readily updatable and uniformly enforced. It has been designed to become a global instrument known as the “fourth pillar” of the international regulatory regime for quality shipping, complementing the key Conventions of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

The decision by the ILO to move forward and create this major new Maritime Labour Convention was the result of a joint resolution in 2001 by international seafarer and ship owner organisations, supported by various governments. They pointed out that the shipping industry is “the world’s first genuinely global industry” which “requires an international regulatory response of an appropriate kind – global standards applicable to the entire industry”.

MLC 2006 Manuals (Full text of the convention):





Read the MLC 2006 Frequently Asked Questions

For an up to date list of countries who have ratified MLC 2006 please click here

Please note that the risk of working on ships which fly the flag of a country which has not ratified the MLC 2006 is that the seafarer employment agreements may not be MLC 2006 compliant. For information when joining a yacht flying the flag of a state which has not ratified the MLC please click here.