ILO Maritime Labour Convention

Change low graphic options | English | 中文 | Русский | Español | Skip content to navigation

Page context: HomeTopicsYour Rights > ILO Maritime Labour Convention


What is the Maritime Labour Convention?

The International Labour Organization's Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006 - also known as the Seafarers’ Bill of Rights – sets out the minimum rights that you should expect as a seafarer.

Every ship over 500 gross tonnage operating in international waters or between ports of different countries has to have a maritime labour certificate. This confirms that it complies with the MLC.

The MLC has been described as the first of a new generation of international labour standards “with teeth”.

The MLC incorporates and builds on 68 existing maritime labour conventions and recommendations, as well as other fundamental principles, to ensure decent working and living conditions for all seafarers.

The MLC is designed to sit alongside other regulations such as the IMO standards on ship safety, security and quality ship management (such as SOLAS, STCW and MARPOL). Where those instruments deal more with the vessel and its operation, the MLC deals with your rights as a seafarer.

It should be remembered that the MLC sets out minimum requirements. Many states that ratify the Convention may have higher standards.

Frequently asked questions:

Related documents:
The Maritime Labour Convention 2006 - What does it mean for cruise crews? (467kb PDF)

ITF Guide on MLC Seafarers Bill of Rights (2847kb PDF)

MLC Seafarers Conditions of Employment (757kb PPT)

General Introduction to MLC - Guidance and Application (302kb PPT)

Short Introduction to the MLC (2208kb PPT)

Related pages:
What are my rights under the MLC? | Who is covered by the MLC? | What about recruitment? | What does the MLC say about employment agreements? | What are my wage rights? | What about working hours? | Do I have rights to paid leave? | What about repatriation? | What if I can't work because I am ill? | What should I do if I'm not getting my rights?

Related news:
20 August 2013
Seafarers' bill of rights goes live today
Today, 20 August, the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) – the...


Section home:

Other pages for Home:
About Us | Contact Us | Links | Resources | Site Help

Other pages for Topics:
Maritime News | Inside the Issues | FOCs | Look Up a Ship, Inspector or Union

Other pages for Your Rights:
Basic Rights Under ILO | Before You Board | Recruitment Scams | Crewing Agents | ITF Agreements | What Should My Wages be? | Equasis | Your Legal Rights | Stand Up for Your Rights | ITF Warlike and High Risk Areas

Full graphics version

ITF House, 49-60 Borough Road, London SE1 1DR | +44 20 7403 2733 |

Copyright © 2019 International Transport Workers' Federation