Handbook: Guidance on implementing the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 - Model National Provisions [2nd impression (with modifications), 2014]

This handbook contains a model for legal provisions that implement the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006). This model closely follows the provisions of the Convention. It is not a proposal for a national law (although with some adjustments it could be used as such), but, rather, it is intended as an aid, in whole or in part, for national legislators and legislative counsel in drafting the necessary legal texts to implement the MLC, 2006.


This handbook has been prepared by the International Standards Department of 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 (referred to below as “the MLC, 2006”). 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. The comprehensive nature of the MLC, 2006, which consolidates 37 existing ILO Conventions and related Recommendations adopted since 1920, could provide a challenge for some countries. The Convention brings together, in one legal instrument, a diverse range of regulatory concern – including minimum age for seafarers, medical fitness, recruitment and placement services, repatriation, onboard accommodation, occupational safety, social security, maritime labour inspection and certification and port State control. Often these issues are addressed at the national level by different agencies or departments and in various forms of legislation.

At the many promotional seminars that have been organized since the Convention’s adoption, a number of governments have identified a need for a “model law”, on the lines of those prepared by some other United Nations organizations. The model provisions and commentary in this handbook have been prepared in response to that need. However, as explained in the introduction to these model national provisions, they are not a model law, in the sense of a standard draft law proposed for adoption as such.