International Labour Organization (ILO) : History, Functions, Structure, Objectives

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International Labour Organization (ILO) : History, Functions, Structure, Objectives

• Since 1919, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has been the only U.N. organisation with three parts. It brings together the governments, employers, and workers of 187 member states to set standards for work, make policies, and come up with programmes that help all women and men get good jobs.

• The ILO was set up after World War I as a branch of the League of Nations.

The Treaty of Versailles, which was signed in 1919, set it up.

Before the organisation was made, its founders had already made a lot of progress in how they thought about and helped people.

In 1946, it became the United Nations’ (UN) first specialised body.

The ILO has done a lot to promote worker rights and human rights. During the 1930s, when the Great Depression hit, it played a big role in making sure workers’ rights were respected.

It was an important part of decolonization and the end of racism in South Africa.

In 1969, the organisation won the Nobel Peace Prize for its work to make peace between the classes and to promote fair work and justice for workers.

• Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland

• Founding Mission: Social justice is important for world peace that lasts.

Organisational Structure of ILO?

• The ILO does its job through three main bodies made up of representatives from governments, employers, and workers:

The International work Conference is where the ILO’s broad policies and international work standards are decided. It gets together each year in Geneva. People sometimes call it the International Parliament of Labour.

It is also a place to talk about important social and work issues.

The ILO’s executive council is the governing body. It meets in Geneva three times a year.

It makes choices about ILO policy and sets up the programme and budget, which it then sends to the Conference for approval.

o Tripartite groups that cover major industries help the Governing Body and the Office do their jobs.

o It is also backed by panels of experts on things like vocational training, management development, workplace safety and health, industrial relations, workers’ education, and the problems that women and young workers face that are different from those of older workers.

The International Labour Office is the International Labour Organization’s main secretariat.

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o It is the centre of all of the ILO’s operations, which are planned with the help of the Governing Body and the Director-General.

There are sometimes regional meetings of ILO member states to talk about things that are important to those areas.

Functions of the ILO

• Making policies and programmes that work together to solve social and work problems.

• Accepting international labour standards in the form of conventions and suggestions and keeping track of how they are used.

• Help for member states to deal with social and wage issues.

• Protection of human rights, such as the right to work, freedom of union, collective bargaining, protection from forced labour and discrimination, etc.

• Do research on social and work problems and put out books about them.

Objectives of the ILO

• To support and implement standards, basic rights, and core principles at work.

• Give women and men more chances to get good jobs.

• To make sure that everyone has access to social safety and that it works well.

• To make the three-party system and society dialogue stronger.

What are International Labour Standards?

• The ILO sets international labour standards in the form of agreements, which member states then ratify. These don’t have to be done.

• Conventions are made by the ILO with help from governments, workers’ groups, and bosses’ groups. The International Labour Conference then votes to approve the conventions.

• When a member state ratifies an ILO agreement, it agrees that it has the force of law. Conventions are a way for many countries to make sure that their laws are in line with international norms.

What is the Decent Work Agenda?

• As part of its purpose, the ILO wants to make sure that everyone has a good job by promoting social dialogue, social protection, job creation, and the respect of international labour standards.With the help of development partners, the ILO works with more than 100 countries to help them reach these goals.

What is the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work?

• Adopted in 1998, the Declaration requires member states to respect and promote eight basic principles and rights in four categories, whether or not they have ratified the relevant conventions. Conventions 87 and 98 are about freedom of association and the right to group bargaining.

Conventions No. 29 and No. 105 get rid of forced or compulsory labour. Conventions No. 138 and No. 182 get rid of child labour. Conventions No. 100 and No. 111 get rid of discrimination in job and occupation.

What are the Core Conventions of the ILO?

• The eight basic conventions are an important part of the United Nations Human Rights Framework, and the fact that member states have ratified them shows that they care about human rights.

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• All eight basic conventions have been signed by 135 member states. Unfortunately, 48 of the 183 member states, including some with the most people, have not yet ratified all eight agreements.

• The ILO’s eight core principles are:

Forced Labour Convention (No. 29), Abolition of Forced Labour Convention (No. 105), Equal Remuneration Convention (No. 100), and Discrimination (Employment Occupation) Convention (No. 111).

Convention No. 138 on the Minimum Age

Convention (No. 182) on the Worst Forms of Child Labour

Freedom of Association and Protection of Right to Organised Convention (No.87)

The Convention on the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining (No. 98)

• The eight conventions are more important now than they were in the past because of global economic and other problems that affect the well-being and way of life of people everywhere.

In fact, they are an important part of the overall framework for the equality of human rights. They protect everyone and are closely related to the search for social justice in a globalised world.

The UN system, the foreign community, and local communities as a whole benefit from them.

India and ILO

• India was one of the first countries to join the ILO, and it has had a stable seat on the ILO’s governing body since 1922.

• The first ILO office was opened in India in 1928. The ILO and its members have worked well together for many years because they trust and respect each other and build long-lasting institutional capacities and improve the capacities of their partners.

• Six of the eight core or basic ILO conventions have been signed by India. These conventions are: the Forced Labour Convention (No. 29), the Abolition of Forced Labour Convention (No. 105), the Equal Remuneration Convention (No. 100), the Discrimination (Employment Occupation) Convention (No. 111), the Minimum Age Convention (No. 138), and the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (No. 182).

• India has not signed the two most important conventions, the Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention of 1948 (No. 87) and the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention of 1949 (No. 98).

The main reason why ILO conventions No. 87 and No. 98 haven’t been signed is that they put limits on government workers.

If these conventions are ratified, government employees would be given rights that aren’t allowed by law, such as the right to strike, the right to openly criticise government policies, the right to freely accept a financial contribution, the right to freely join foreign organisations, etc.

What are the Core Conventions of the ILO?

Worker group representatives come from national trade union confederations. The Bureau for Workers’ Activities at the ILO secretariat works to strengthen independent and democratic trade unions so they can better protect workers’ rights and interests.

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What is the ILO’s Supervisory Role?

• The ILO makes sure that ILO agreements are followed by member states that have signed them. The Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations and the Tripartite Committee on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations of the International Labour Conference help with this.

Member states are also expected to send reports on how the conventions they have signed are being carried out.

Against Whom the Complaints are Registered?

• The ILO keeps track of reports about groups that break international rules, but it does not punish governments.

Member states can be held accountable for not following ILO conventions they have signed. Complaints can come from another member state that signed the same convention, a representative to the International Labour Conference, or the ILO’s Governing Body.

What is the ILO’s Global Commission on the Future of Work?

• The second step of the ILO Future of Work Initiative is the creation of an ILO Global Commission on the Future of Work.

 It was led by the president of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, and the prime minister of Sweden, Stefan Lofven.

• The commission lays out a plan for a human-centered agenda based on investing in people’s skills, institutions of work, and good, long-term jobs.

• It has done a thorough study of the future of work, which can be used to help make sure that social justice is done in the 21st century.

• It talks about the problems that new technology, climate change, and population growth are bringing and calls for a global response to the changes they are making to the world of work.

AI, automation, and robots will cause people to lose their jobs as their skills become obsolete.

• The most important suggestions are: a “universal labour guarantee” that protects the basic rights of workers, a “living wage” that is high enough to support a family, limits on hours worked, and safe and healthy places to work.

Social safety that is guaranteed from birth to old age and meets people’s needs throughout their lives.

Everyone should have the right to ongoing learning, so they can learn new skills and improve the ones they already have.

Managing technological change to improve decent work, including creating an international system for governing digital work platforms.

More money should be put into the health care, green, and rural businesses.

Changes to business incentives to support long-term investments. A transformative and measurable plan for gender equality.