The Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (‘MLC’) is enforced in a number of ways:
- Flag states must have a system for inspection and certification of maritime labour conditions ensuring that working and living conditions on their ships meet the requirements of the MLC (See flag state responsibilities).
- Anyone – including seafarers – can complain to the inspecting authority or report breaches of the MLC.
Seafarers have a right to on board complaints procedures if the requirements of the MLC have not been met (See right to complain on board).
- Port states can choose to inspect foreign ships calling in their ports to check whether the ships comply with the requirements of the MLC. This includes ships flying the flag of countries that have not signed the MLC (See port state responsibilities).
- Seafarers also have a right to on shore complaints procedures if the requirements of the MLC have not been met (See right to complain on shore).
- The International Labour Organisation (‘ILO’) has its own system for checking compliance with the MLC. Countries that have ratified the MLC must report to the ILO on how they have implemented the requirements of the MLC. These reports are considered by the Committee of Experts of the ILO.