International labour standards in Asia and the Pacific

The opening session of 104th International Labour Conference.
International labour standards are legal instruments drawn up by the ILO’s tripartite constituents (governments, employers and workers) that lay down principles, rights and minimum standards related to work and workplaces. These standards can be either conventions, which are binding international treaties, or recommendations, which are non-binding.


Once a country has ratified an ILO Convention it is obliged to report regularly on what it has done to implement the related standards. Procedures can also be initiated against member States that fail to comply with conventions they have ratified. As well as supervising the application of conventions the ILO also provides technical assistance to help member States ratify and observe conventions.

There are more than 180 conventions in all, and of these eight are regarded as fundamental. These cover core aspects of work-related rights including freedom of association, collective bargaining, child labour, forced labour and discrimination.

Supporting core labour standards, and the ratification of the ILO conventions that support them, is one of the aims of the Asian Decent Work Decade.

Key resources

  1. NORMLEX - Information System on International Labour Standards

    Brings together information on International Labour Standards (such as ratification information, reporting requirements, comments of the ILO's supervisory bodies, etc.) as well as national labour and social security laws, includes the information which was previously contained in NATLEX, ILOLEX, APPLIS and LIBSYND databases.

  2. Rules of the Game: a brief introduction to International Labour Standards (Revised edition 2014)

    6 November 2014

    Aimed at a non-specialist audience, this revised publication provides an introduction to international labour standards and discusses their importance in today’s global economy, the subjects they cover, how they are applied and supervised, and where further information can be sought.

  3. Ratifications of Fundamental Conventions in Asia and the Pacific

    08 September 2010

  4. Supervision of ILO Conventions

    13 October 2008