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Maritime Labour Convention, 2006

Rights and Advocacy Under the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006

The Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC 2006) is an international labor convention adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 2006. It sets out the rights and protections for seafarers and establishes standards for working conditions on ships. The MLC is sometimes referred to as the “Seafarers’ Bill of Rights” and it covers areas such as accommodation, food and catering, health protection, medical care, welfare and social security protection. The Convention entered into force on August 20, 2013. As of 2023, the convention has been ratified by over 100 countries, making it one of the most rapidly ratified ILO conventions.

The MLC, 2006 includes a number of provisions related to port-based seafarers’ welfare provision. Regulation 4.4 on “Access to shore-based welfare facilities” was written “to ensure that seafarers working on board a ship have access to shore-based facilities and services to secure their health and well-being.”

You can find the full text of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 with amendments on the website of the International Labour Organization here.

Should you have questions regarding seafarers’ rights and advocacy, we encourage you to contact the Center for Mariner Advocacy of the Seamen’s Church Institute. SCI’s Center for Mariner Advocacy (CMA), formerly the Center for Seafarers’ Rights (CSR), is recognized worldwide as a leading advocate for merchant mariners. The Center provides free legal assistance to seafarers and chaplains, seafarers’ rights training, and legislative advocacy.

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