Handbook: Guidance on implementing the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 and Social Security for Seafarers

This handbook on social security has been prepared by the International Labour Office under the auspices of the ILO’s five year (2006-2011) Action Plan to achieve rapid and widespread and effective implementation of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006. It is intended to assist countries that may need additional information or technical support to ratify and implement this innovative Convention. These innovations relate to the Convention’s legal structure and terminology, its comprehensiveness, its areas of flexibility as well as its expanded compliance and enforcement provisions.


This Handbook has been developed to assist Members of the International Labour Organization (ILO) to implement their responsibilities under the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006) regarding social security for seafarers. It is intended to provide the necessary background on the subject of social security as well as practical information and guidance to government administrations concerned with implementing the MLC, 2006 in their country and to social partners when assisting in doing so.

It has been prepared in response to a request in 2006 by the 94th International Labour Conference for the promotion of the provision of effective social security for seafarers and the preparation of related material. It also responds to concerns expressed by ILO constituents on the difficulties encountered in understanding the measures need to be put in place for the proper implementation of the social security provisions of the MLC, 2006.