What is new in the MLC, 2006?

  • The whole structure of the Convention differs from that of traditional ILO Conventions.
  • It is organized into three main parts: the Articles, placed at the beginning, set out the broad principles and obligations.
  • They are followed by the more detailed Regulations and the Code of the MLC, 2006

It has two parts:

  • Part A (mandatory Standards)
  • Part B (non-mandatory Guidelines).

The Regulations and the Code are organized in five Titles

Title 1. Minimum requirements for seafarers to work on the ship

Title 2. Conditions of employment

Title 3. Accommodation, recreational facilities, food and catering

Title 4. Health protection, medical care, welfare &  social security protection

Title 5. Compliance and enforcement

  • Existing 37 maritime labour Conventions and associated Recommendations that had been adopted by the ILO between 1920 and 1996, updating them where necessary.
  • There are a few new subjects, particularly in the area of occupational safety and health to meet contemporary concerns, such as the effects of noise and vibration on workers or other workplace risks, but in general the Convention aims at maintaining the core level in the current instruments at their present level.

Does the MLC, 2006 directly applies to the shipowners, ships and seafarers?

  • The MLC, 2006 is an international legal instrument & does not  directly applies to shipowners, ships or seafarers.
  • Ideally like all international law, it relies on enforcement by countries through their national laws or other measures
  • The national laws or other standards would then apply to shipowners, seafarers & ships.
  • The MLC, 2006 sets out the minimum standards that should be followed by all countries that ratify it.
  • These standards must be reflected in the national standards or requirements or other national implementing measures and are subject to the usual oversight role taken by the ILO’s Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions & Recommendations under the ILO supervisory system.

What is the position of the 2008 ILO Guidelines for flag State inspections & the ILO Guidelines for port State control officers?

  • The 2 sets of Guidelines, adopted in 2008.
  • The Guidelines prescribed for the flag State inspections under the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006,
  • Guidelines for the port State control officers carrying out the inspections under the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006,
  • This provide authoritative guidance since they were prepared by international tripartite meetings of experts to assist countries to implement Title 5 of the MLC, 2006.
  • But they do not have any special legal standings. They should not be confused with the Guidelines found in Part B of the Code of the MLC, 2006 which should be given due consideration by ratifying countries.

What is the Special Tripartite Committee?

  • Article XIII of the MLC, 2006 provides for the establishment of a Special Tripartite Committee by the ILO’s Governing Body.
  • The mandate of this Committee is to “keep the working of this Convention under continuous review”.
  • Under the Convention the Committee consists of two representatives nominated by the government of each country that has ratified the Convention, and the representatives of shipowners and seafarers appointed by the Governing Body.
  • The Committee has an main role with respect to the amendments to the Code .
  • If difficulties are identified in the working of the Convention, or if the Convention needs to be updated, the Special Tripartite Committee, in accordance with Article XV of the Convention, has the power to adopt amendments .
  • The Committee also plays an important consultative role under Article VII for countries that do not have shipowners’ or seafarers’ organizations to consult when implementing the MLC, 2006.
  • This Committee held its first meeting in Geneva in 2014, at which it adopted amendments to the Code of the MLC, 2006 that address the issues of abandonment of seafarers and shipowners’ liability for death or long-term disability and financial security system.
  • 2016 amendment was regarding the Guideline B4.3.1 – Provisions on occupational accidents, injuries and diseases and Standard A5.1.3 – Maritime labour certificate & declaration of maritime labour compliance
  • 2018 amendment contains Amendment to the Code of the MLC, 2006, relating to post piracy captive