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ILO MLC

The Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC) is an international agreement of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) which sets out seafarers rights to decent conditions of work. It is sometimes called the seafarers Bill of Rights. It applies to all seafarers, including those with jobs in the hotel and other passenger services on cruise ships and commercial yachts.

The convention entered into force on 20 August 2013, one year after registering 30 ratifications of countries representing over 33 percent of the world gross tonnage of ships.

The Regulations and the Code are organized into general areas under five titles:

  1. Minimum requirements for seafarers to work on a ship
  2. Conditions of employment
  3. Accommodation, recreational facilities, food, and catering
  4. Health protection, medical care, welfare, and social security protection
  5. Compliance and enforcement

Title 1: Minimum requirements for seafarers to work on a ship
  • Minimum age
  • Medical certificate
  • Training and qualifications
  • Recruitment and placement
  • Seafarers employment agreements
  • Wages
  • Hours of work and hours of rest
  • Entitlement to leave
  • Repatriation
  • Seafarer compensation for the ship's loss or foundering
  • Manning levels
  • Career and skill development and opportunities for seafarer's employment
  • Accommodation and recreational facilities
  • Food and catering
  • Medical care on board ship and ashore
  • Shipowners liability
  • Health and safety protection and accident prevention
  • Access to shore base welfare facilities
  • Social security
  • Flag state responsibilities
  • Port state responsibilities
  • Labour suppling responsibilities


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