What is Maritime Labour Convention (MLC)

Updated: May 30, 2020

TheMaritime Labour Convention, 2006 or MLC, 2006 is an international labour Convention adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO). It provides international standards for the world’s first genuinely global industry.


Widely known as the “seafarers’ bill of rights,” the MLC, 2006 was adopted by the government, employer and workers representatives at a special ILO International Labour Conference in February 2006.


It is unique in that it aims both to achieve decent work for seafarers and to secure economic interests through fair competition for quality ship owners.


The Convention is comprehensive and sets out, in one place, seafarers' rights to decent working conditions. It covers almost every aspect of their work and life on board including:

  • minimum age

  • seafarers’ employment agreements

  • hours of work or rest

  • payment of wages

  • paid annual leave