Under the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (‘MLC’):
- A person must be 16 years old or above to work as a seafarer.
- A seafarer who is between 16 and 18 years of age can work on a ship but cannot do:
- night work (with some possible exceptions); or
- work that puts the seafarer’s health or safety at risk.
- ‘Night’ is determined in accordance with national law and practice. It must cover a period of at least nine hours starting no later than midnight, and ending no earlier than 5am.
- What work is likely to be a health or safety risk is determined by the competent authority, after consultation with shipowner and seafarer organisations.
See Regulation 1.1 of the MLC.
For more information
See the ILO Frequently Asked Questions (section C5.2) at http://www.ilo.org/global/standards/maritime-labour-convention/what-it-does/faq/WCMS_177371/lang–en/index.htm