International Labour Organization – Conventions and Recommendations

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 14th, 2023

  • The International Labour Organization, headquartered in Geneva (Switzerland), is a tripartite U.N. agency that came into existence in the year 1919. It has 187 member states.
  • Some of the main aims of the ILO are to promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, enhance social protection, etc.
  • The International Labour Organization (ILO) is a tripartite body consisting of representatives of governments, trade unions, and member-states’ employers.
  • During the Second World War, in April 1944, a conference was convened at Philadelphia. As a result of these deliberations, the aims of the ILO were redefined. This was termed as the Declaration of Philadelphia which was later incorporated into ILO’s constitution.

International Labour Organization – Conventions and Recommendations

1- International Labour Conference (ILC)

  • The International Labour Conference (ILC) is the ILO superior body that comes together at least once a year. The Conference deals with analyzing and adopting the international norms in the social and labour sphere, and with discussing universally important questions.
  • Sir Atul Chatterjee was the first Indian to become the president of the International Labour Conference (ILC). One of the main powers of the conference is to appoint committees to deal with different matters during each session.
  • Indians have chaired some of the important committees of the Conferences like Selection Committee, Resolution Committee, Drafting Committee, Credential Committee, Finance Committee, etc.
  • Some of the functions of ILC are:
    • To formulate International Labour Standards
    • To fix the amount of contribution by the member states
    • To appoint committees to deal with different matters during each session
    • To look for an advisory opinion from the International Committee of Justice

2- Governing Body

  • The Governing Body is the ILO executive body that directs the Organization’s activities in the period between the ILC sessions and also defines the order of the Conference decisions’ implementation. The Governing Body meets thrice in a year.
  • Functions of the Governing Body:
    • To co-ordinate the work of the organization
    • To appoint the Director-General
    • To fix the date, duration and agenda of the Regional conference
    • To look for an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice with the consent of ILC

3- International Labour Office

  • The International Labour Office is the ILO permanent secretariat.
  • The Director-General of the ILO is appointed by the Governing body. He also acts as the Secretary-General of the ILO conference.
  • Functions of the International Labour Office:
    • To carry out its functions related to the observance of the conventions
    • To collect and distribute information on international labour and social problems.
    • To bring out publications dealing with industrial labour problems of international interest.

Conventions and Recommendations

  • Conventions and Recommendations are adopted at the annual International Labour Conference.
  • When a standard is adopted, member states are required under article 19(6) of the ILO Constitution, to submit it to their competent authority within a period of twelve months for consideration.
  • If a convention is ratified, it generally comes into force for that country one year post the date when it is ratified.
  • The countries ratifying the convention undertake to apply the Convention in national law and practice and to report on its application at regular intervals. If required, technical assistance is also provided by the ILO.
  • In case of violation of a convention, representation, as well as complaint procedures, can also be initiated against countries that have ratified the convention.

Fundamental Conventions

Eight fundamental conventions have been identified by the ILO Governing Body. These are:

Convention Number Conventions
Convention No. 87 Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948
Convention No. 98 Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949
Convention No. 29 Forced Labour Convention, 1930
Convention No. 105 Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957
Convention No. 138 Minimum Age Convention, 1973
Convention No. 182 Worst forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999
Convention No. 100 Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951
Convention No. 111 Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958

Governance Conventions

The ILO Governing Body has also identified another four conventions encouraging member states to ratify them. The four conventions are:-

Convention Number Conventions
Convention No. 81 Labour Inspection Convention, 1947
Convention No. 122 Employment Policy Convention, 1964
Convention No. 129 Labour Inspection (Agriculture) Convention, 1969
Convention No. 144 Tripartite Consultation (International Labour Standards) Convention, 1976

Conventions ratified by India

India has ratified six of the fundamental conventions. Convention No. 87 (Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948) and Convention No. 98 (Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949) has not been ratified.

  • Convention No. 29 (Forced Labour Convention, 1930) was ratified on November 30, 1954
  • Convention No. 100 (Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951) was ratified on September 25, 1958
  • Convention No. 105 (Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957) was ratified on May 18, 2000
  • Convention No. 111 (Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958) was ratified on June 3, 1960
  • Convention No. 138 (Minimum Age Convention, 1973) was ratified on June 13, 2017
  • Convention No. 182 (Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999) was ratified on June 13, 2017
  • Convention No. 81 (Labour Inspection Convention, 1947) was ratified on April 7, 1949
  • Convention No. 122 (Employment Policy Convention, 1964) was ratified on November 17, 1998
  • Convention No. 144 (Tripartite Consultation (International Labour Standards) Convention, 1976) was ratified on February 27, 1978

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