Who is covered by the MLC?

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Page context: HomeTopicsYour RightsILO Maritime Labour Convention > Who is covered by the MLC?

The MLC covers all vessels and applies to all seafarers. But you must be at least 16 and have a medical certificate to work on a ship.

All ships are covered except:

Ships below 200 GT, that are not carrying out international voyages, can be excluded by the flag State from some of the requirements if the seafarers’ rights concerned are already covered by national laws, collective agreements or other measures.

Seafarer means any person who is employed or engaged or works in any capacity on board a ship to which the Convention applies. This includes riding gangs and hotel staff on cruise ships – anyone working on board.

If there is any doubt as to whether a category of ship or person is covered by the Convention, the situation has to be clarified between the State authorities in consultation with the shipowner and seafarer organizations concerned.

Related documents:
Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (1099kb PDF)

Useful links:
The ITF is not responsible for the content of external internet sites
ILO’s MLC pages

MLC Ratifications

A Seafarers' Bill of Rights

Related pages:
ILO Maritime Labour Convention | Contact Us


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