What is an International Labor Organization?
The International Labor Organization (ILO) is one of the longest standing intergovernmental organizations dealing with social affairs. It was established in 1919 as a result of the growing concern for social reforms after the First World War. The founding members included: Belgium, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, France, Japan, the USA, Great Britain and Poland. The ILO is the only international organization where employers ‘and workers’ representatives – the “social partners” – have an equal right with government representatives to shape its policies and programs. The ILO is based on its Constitution.
The core tasks of the ILO include:
- creating international labor law, in the form of conventions and recommendations that contain minimum standards in the field of basic labor rights, such as: freedom of association, the right to organize, the right to collective bargaining, prohibition of forced and compulsory labor, equal rights at work and in the exercise of the profession ;
- offering technical cooperation, including promoting international labor standards and assisting Member States in adapting their national law to the provisions of ILO conventions and recommendations, and in implementing the Decent Work Agenda;
- promoting the development of independent employers ‘and workers’ organizations and training their members
The ILO has defined four areas of fundamental human rights in the world of work. Those are:
- freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining
- prohibition of all forms of forced and compulsory labor
- effective elimination of child labor
- elimination of discrimination in the field of employment and occupation