Since 1919, the International Labour Organization has built a system of international labour standards, including the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, which established minimum working and living standards for all seafarers. ILO in 2019 is celebrating 100 years of working in favour of social justice and working rights.

When the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were formally adopted by the international community, decent work was a crucial component, notably for Goal 8 which aims to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

Aiming to protect the world’s seafarers, the ILO has adopted around 70 instruments through special maritime sessions of the International Labour Conference. In February 2006, International Labour Conference adopted the Maritime Labour Convention.

This Convention revised and consolidated 37 existing Conventions and the related Recommendations. On the one hand, it provides the comprehensive rights of the world’s 1.5 million seafarers to decent conditions of work on almost every aspect of their working and living conditions.

That includes minimum requirements for work on a ship, such as minimum age, medical fitness and training, provisions on the conditions of employment such as hours of work and rest, wages, leave, repatriation, accommodation, recreational facilities, food and catering, occupational safety and health protection, medical care, welfare and social security protection.

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