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  • Writer's pictureLAWGIC STRATUM


Author: Karthik. T


Around 90% of global trade is transported by sea or river, which necessitates the use of seafarers to run the vessels. As a result, seafarers are critical to foreign trade and the global economic system. It is important to note that maritime transport is the first truly globalized industry.

In a special maritime session of the International Labour Conference, the ILO adopted over 70 instruments (41 Conventions and related Recommendations) to secure the world's seafarers and their contribution to international trade. The ILO's international standards for this sector provide the minimum conditions for "decent work" and cover almost all aspects of employment, including minimum requirements for working on a ship (such as minimum age, medical fitness, and training), provisions on working conditions (such as hours of work and rest), wages, leave, repatriation, accommodation, recreational facilities, food, and catering), and minimum requirements for work on a ship (such as minimum age, medical fitness, and training), and provisions on working conditions (such as hours of work and they also discuss concerns like pensions and a globally recognized database for seafarers (a seafarers' identification document) to help with border control.


The Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) was founded in 2006 as part of the International Labour Organization in Geneva, Switzerland (ILO). The convention was formed to ensure that seamen's rights and interests are protected and that they can obtain what is due to them without being abused.

Just 13 countries have confirmed or ratified the maritime convention, which currently needs ratification by 30 countries involved in maritime trade. Furthermore, these 30 countries must have a minimum stake of 33% in the international shipping sector and must be ILO members (calculated because of the share percentage of the gross tonnage of ships).

Based on all countries' ratification, the convention is scheduled to enter into force within a year of ratification – in this case, in 2011 or no later than early 2012. The Bahamas, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Switzerland, Spain, Canada, and Denmark are among the 13 countries that have ratified the convention.

The International Maritime Organization's fourth mainstay in terms of ensuring quality transportation in marine areas is the Marine Labour Convention. The MARPOL, STCW, and SOLAS conventions are the other three mainstays.

Because of the importance and scope of trade and business activities that take place across the marine channels, the convention was agreed to be adopted. According to figures, oceanic routes account for nearly 90% of all foreign trade, employing nearly 1.2 million people as skilled seamen.

Many definitions from both maritime and international labor organizations – 68 in total over the last eight decades – have been merged to create a comprehensive and detailed law body on maritime labor. The following are some of the principles and laws that have been considered during the MLC preparation:

  • The 1951 Equal Remuneration Convention

  • 1973 Minimum Wage Convention

  • The Convention on the Worst Forms of Child Labor, 1999

  • The Convention on the Abolition of Forced Labor, 1957

The labour conference also aims to amend some of the maritime conventions and laws already in place.

Organization of labour the following are a few examples of potentially amendable laws:

  • Minimum Age (Sea) Convention, 1920

  • Placing of Seamen Convention, 1920

  • Certification of Ships’ Cook Convention, 1946

  • Hours of Work and Manning (Sea) Convention, 1936

  • Seamen’s Articles of Agreement Convention, 1926

  • Paid Vacations (Seafarers) Convention, 1946

  • Merchant Shipping (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1976

  • Recruitment and Placement of Seafarers Convention, 1996

The MLC is divided into three sections: Articles, Regulations, and Code. The first two parts list the rights, conditions in the form of duties, and rationales of the countries that confirm the marine labor convention by ratifying it. In addition, the MLC's third and final section – the Code – details how the specified regulations should be implemented.

The marine offices of the countries that have ratified the convention are responsible for enforcing the defined and specified convention laws.

A structure has been formed to oversee and regulate the application of the MLC stipulations for this reason. This set-up would also serve as a mediator in the event of any problems or disputes that might occur during the convention's realistic implementation.

It is hoped that, with the aid of the Maritime Labour Convention, a broadly applicable body of law would be enacted, which will be a significant accomplishment for the maritime sector as a whole.


The International Labour Organization's Maritime Labour Convention, which was adopted in February 2006, establishes minimum requirements for ensuring satisfactory working conditions for the world's seafarers. It compiles and updates over 65 other ILO maritime labor instruments, as well as establishing a certification and inspection framework to ensure compliance




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