The International Labour Organization (ILO)

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  • The International Labour Organization (ILO) is a United Nations agency dealing with labour problems, particularly international labour standards, social protection, and work opportunities for all.

What are international labour standards?

  • 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, which are legally binding international treaties that may be ratified by member states, or recommendations, which serve as non-binding guidelines.
  • Once a standard is adopted, member states are required under the ILO Constitution to submitthem to their competent authority (normally the parliament) 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 commit themselves to applying the convention in national law and practice and reporting on its application at regular intervals.
  • The ILO’s International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) was created in 1992 with the overall goal of the progressive elimination of child labour,

This was to be achieved through strengthening the capacity of countries to deal with the problem and promoting a worldwide movement to combat child labour.

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