Critical Analysis of the Martime Labour Convention, 2006

Akash Krishnan and Alluri Manoj Sai
ICFAI Law School, Hyderabad, India

Volume II – Issue I, 2020

The adoption of MLC in 2006 was the merchandise of 5 year’s work administrated as a tripartite process involving governments, seafarers’ trade unions and shipowners’ organisations. The International Shipping Federation (ISF) was accountable for negotiating the text of the Convention on behalf of maritime employers. ISF liaised closely with and its sister organisation, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and national shipowners’ associations. The Convention has received wide support from governments, with the European Union also encouraging member states to ratify. There has been a gentle flow of ratifications with 90 States having ratified by the tip of 2019.

MLC may be termed as a consolidation of existing legislations, including not less than 36 Conventions, a number of them dating back to 1920, with the aim of setting global standards for a world industry. The International Chamber of Shipping observed:

“The overwhelming majority of companies mustn’t have any difficulty complying with the substance of the Convention, since this can be largely derived from existing ILO maritime standards and accepted good employment practice. However, the enforcement mechanism is new, and it’ll be important to avoid teething problems as a number of the more detailed requirements are applied and interpreted.”

MLC has been described to be the “fourth pillar” of the international regulatory regime for quality shipping, complementing the key Conventions of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). However, it’s structured in an exceedingly efficient way which is kind of different from the IMO Liability Conventions. This Article aims at decoding the Maritime Labour Convention in detail, understanding the rights provided under the convention and the lacuna in the same.

Keywords: Flag State, Maritime Labour Convention, Seafarer, Shipowner.


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