Introduction: What is ILO?
ILO stands for International Labour Organisation. Its founding mission emphasises that peace among labour is essential to prosperity. The main devotion of ILO is to promote labour and human rights that are internationally accepted and maintain social justice.
In 1919, ILO was established as a part of the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I. The main idea behind the institution of ILO was to show that one can build and accomplish universal peace and harmony only based on social justice. The ILO headquarters are located in Geneva in Switzerland.
Today, all places follow a decent economic and working environment because of ILO. People can work with peace and focus on their progress without worrying about anything at their workplaces.
Mission and Impact of the ILO
The mission of ILO is “Protecting people, Promoting jobs”.
With this mission, the organisation brings together workers, employers, and government representatives from 187 member nations. Together they devise programmes and develop policies promoting decent work for all men and women and set labour standards.
Strategic Objectives of ILO
The International Labour Organisation has four main strategic objectives:
- It is essential to realise and promote fundamental principles and standards at work.
No work is said to be big or small. Whether it is the company’s boss, the manager, any other worker, or the labour, each is doing their work. Therefore, it is necessary to maintain respect for everybody irrespective of their posts. ILO’s first objective strives to inculcate these small things in people’s minds.
- Create equal opportunities for both men and women to earn decent employment and income.
Skill development is something that the ILO focuses on, and it tends to provide equal opportunities to both men and women. ILO also ensures no racism between labour based on gender, caste, or other aspects. The policies strictly specify that this type of bias is not acceptable.
- Social protection for all is a must, so its enhancement is necessary.
One context of social protection ensures older people’s rights, dignity, and well-being. They should have better access to adequate care for the long-term in addition to pensions. Similarly, the organisation prioritises the social protection of all the working people.
- Strengthening tripartism and social dialogue.
Good industrial relations and efficient social dialogue between the triparty improve working conditions, wages, and sustainable enterprises. It promotes inclusive economic growth and social justice.Social dialogue includes:
- Collective bargaining between employers’ and workers’ organisations
- Exchanging information and consultation between workers’ and employers’ organisations and governments
- Resolution and prevention of disputes
- Other approaches such as international framework agreements, workplace cooperation, etc.
The ILO’s Decent Work Agenda
The key elements to poverty reduction and fair globalisation are decent work and productive employment. The ILO has directed its agenda towards rights at work, social dialogue, and social protection, with gender equality as a side objective.
The four pillars of decent work are social dialogue, rights at work, social protection, and employment generation.
The decent work and its four pillars were made a part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development during the UN General Assembly in September 2015. Goal 8 of the 2030 Agenda aims at decent work and productive and full employment to promote sustainable economic growth. These four pillars will be a major area of focus for the ILO and its sub-constituents.
Also, the targets of the other 16 goals of the UN’s new development vision mentions some more critical points of the Decent Work Agenda.
The 8 Fundamental Conventions of ILO
- Labour administration
- Collective bargaining
- Labour inspection
- Child labour
- Freedom of association
- Forced labour
- Equality of opportunity and treatment
- Labour administration
Work Expertise of ILO
ILO has been working for more than a century for the social rights of the workers and employees. It has been promoting the worker’s fundamental rights in all the aspects that it can.
The need for basic dignity, livelihood, and decent work is present everywhere, and so the ILO has to work on many factors. It serves the society as a whole and the tripartite in the following mentioned ways:
- The first step is formulating international programmes and policies to promote better working conditions, ensuring that the workers are not devoid of their basic human rights, enhancing employment opportunities, and improving living and working conditions.
- The formulation of these programmes and policies alone is not enough. The ILO makes sure that there is a unique system backed international labour standards which ensure the correct application and usage of these policies.
- Make other countries aware of the same policies and programmes by holding an extensive international technical cooperation programme. Wherein other constituents are also present.
- All the efforts employed in the above three steps should not be a waste. So, the ILO makes sure that it holds proper research, education, and training activities to support the efforts put in.
Human rights for workers are a necessity. They help the workers to raise their voices against anything unacceptable that may happen to them. The workers’ rights ensure that they have the freedom to express themselves whenever and however they feel like it.
It is a significant need for the workers of the most vulnerable groups. We have seen the example of migrant workers in the time of the Covid-19 pandemic. They had to go through so much, including losing their savings and investments.
ILO keeps implementing new programmes and policies to better workers’ rights and a just social environment around them.