The ILO in the Republic of Korea

The ILO Director-General and the Korea tripartite
Korea became the ILO's 152nd member country in December 1991. Korea was elected as a member of the ILO Governing Body in 1996, five years after its entry into the ILO. Recognized for its substantial contributions to the decision making process of the ILO since then, Korea was reelected as a member of the Governing Body for the eighth straight time at the International Labour Conference held in June 2017. Korea had served as Chair of the Governing Body from June 2003 to June 2004 and was also elected to chair the Government Group of the ILO during the 2017-2018 term.

The Korean government consistently reviews its national laws and practices and pursues their improvement in order to ratify ILO Conventions. So far, Korea has ratified 27 ILO Conventions including the four fundamental Conventions: Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138); Discrimination (Employoment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111); Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951 (No. 100); and Worst Forms of Child Labor Convention, 1999 (No. 182). The government is making strenuous efforts to ratify more ILO Conventions.

The ILO’s partnership work with the Republic of Korea is supported through the ILO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, based in Bangkok, Thailand.

In October 2003, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Government of the Republic of Korea, through its Ministry of Employment and Labor, and the International Labour Organization. In the following year, the ILO/Korea Partnership Programme was launched. The programme provides technical assistance to help achieve the goals of the ILO’s decent work agenda in Asia and the Pacific.

The ILO/Korea Partnership Programme, under the guidance of the ILO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, works in close collaboration with specialists in ILO offices throughout the region. The ILO/Korea’s areas of work are closely tied with the Korean Partner Institutions to extend knowledge and technical expertise, providing training programmes and institutional network in the project implementation.

Since 2004, the ROK has approved the funding to support ILO strategies particularly with the Decent Work Country Progammes (DWCP) for improving equity and rights; promoting decent work, employment opportunities and sustainable enterprises; strengthening dialogue and labour migration; extending social protection coverage; and improving labour market governance in countries throughout the region.