B6. What are “sheltered waters”, etc.?

The MLC, 2006 does not explicitly define the terms “closely adjacent to” or “sheltered waters” used in Article II, paragraph 1(i) [see B4.]. It is impossible to determine this question on an international level for all countries, since this determination could, to a certain extent, depend upon the geographical or geological situations in each country. In principle, it would be for the competent authority of a country that has ratified the MLC, 2006 to determine, in good faith and on a tripartite basis, taking into account the objectives of the Convention and the physical features of the country, which areas could be considered as “sheltered waters” and what distance away from those waters could be considered as “closely adjacent to sheltered waters”. Any questions of doubt are to be resolved on the basis of consultation with the national social partners in accordance with paragraph 5 of Article II.

In 2011, the International Labour Office sought advice from relevant international organizations and members regarding the definition. The information summarized above is set out in a letter that is available under the heading “Text and preparatory reports” at: www.ilo.org/mlc.

Questions about the workers and the ships covered by the MLC, 2006