In February 2006, the 94th (Maritime) Session of the International Labour Conference of the ILO adopted the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006). The MLC, 2006, essentially consolidated and updated 68 existing ILO Maritime Conventions and Recommendations adopted since 1920, into a single comprehensive international legal instrument.
The Convention has two primary purposes:
- To bring existing labour standards closer to the workers concerned, in a form consistent with the rapidly developing, globalized sector (ensuring “decent work”); and
- To improve the application of the system so that shipowners and governments interested in providing decent conditions of work do not have to bear an unequal burden in ensuring protection (“level-playing field” - fair competition)
Once it enters into force it will become the “fourth pillar” of the international regulatory regime for quality shipping, complementing the key Conventions of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) – SOLAS (1974) as amended, STCW (1978) as amended, and MARPOL (73/78), as amended.
The MLC2006 ensure that seafarers have:
- A right to a safe and secure workplace that complies with safety standards;
- A right to fair terms of employment;
- A right to decent working and living conditions on board ship; and
- A right to health protection, medical care, welfare measures and other forms of social protection.
The Technical office has trained its highly experienced worldwide network of ISM and ISPS Code Auditors to conduct MLC inspections and encourages ship-owners to request these efficient services.