The International Labour Organization (ILO) promotes opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity.
The organization has 183 member states. Sri Lanka became a member of the ILO in 1948. The organization is unique amongst the United Nations Agencies in being tripartite.
Being tripartite means that governments, employers and trade unions all participate in its work and in its decision-making processes.
The ILO aims to ensure that its efforts are rooted in the needs of the working women and men. It does that by bringing together governments, employers and workers (the social partners) who set labour standards, supervise their implementation, raise awareness, develop policies and devise programmes.
The work of the ILO is guided by the Governing Body, comprising 28 government members and 14 worker and 14 employer members. It takes decisions on action to give effect to ILO policy, prepares draft programme and budget, which it then submits to the International Labour Conference (ILC) for adoption and elects the Director General.
The ILC meets in June every year in Geneva. Delegates from member countries are accompanied by technical advisers. Each member country, including Sri Lanka, has the right to send four delegates to the ILC – two from government, and one each representing workers and employers. Each of whom may speak and vote independently.