ILO International Labour Standards
Since 1919, the International Labour Organization has maintained and developed a system of international labour standards aimed at promoting opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work, in conditions of freedom, equity, security and dignity. In today’s globalized economy, international labour standards are an essential component in the international framework for ensuring that the growth of the global economy provides benefits to all.
International labour standards are legal instruments drawn up by the ILO’s constituents (governments, employers and workers) and setting out basic principles and rights at work. They are either Conventions (or Protocols), which are legally binding international treaties that may be ratified by member states, or Recommendations, which serve as non-binding guidelines. In many cases, a Convention lays down the basic principles to be implemented by ratifying countries, while a related Recommendation supplements the Convention by providing more detailed guidelines on how it could be applied. Recommendations can also be autonomous, i.e. not linked to a Convention.
Conventions and Recommendations are drawn up by representatives of governments, employers and workers and are adopted at the annual International Labour Conference. Once a standard is adopted, member states are required under article 19(6) of the ILO Constitution, to submit it to their competent authority (normally Parliament) within a period of twelve months for consideration. In the case of Conventions, this means consideration for ratification. If it is ratified, a Convention generally comes into force for that country one year after the date of ratification. Ratifying countries undertake to apply the Convention in national law and practice and to report on its application at regular intervals. Technical assistance is provided by the ILO, if necessary. In addition, representation and complaint procedures can be initiated against countries for violations of a Convention that they have ratified.
SCF correlation: SCF includes the ILO conventions