The ILO’s technical cooperation programme is one of its principal means of implementing the Decent Work Agenda at a national level.
Training entrepreneurs in small business administration, strengthening social security systems, assisting in the reintegration of ex-combatants into the national economy, building social dialogue, helping employers’ organization and trade unions deal with occupational safety and health, setting up cooperatives in rural areas, working with governments to revise labour laws: these are just a few examples of the ILO’s vast range of technical cooperation initiatives aimed at addressing development challenges and building bridges between the ILO’s standard-setting role and people.
With over 50 years of experience in technical cooperation on all continents and at all stages of economic development, the ILO now conducts more than 700 technical cooperation projects in over 80 countries with the help of some 60 donor institutions worldwide. The projects are implemented through close cooperation between recipient countries, constituents, donors, and the ILO, which maintains a network of area and regional offices worldwide.
Rather than providing short term solutions to development challenges, which often fail to address root causes, the ILO takes a sustainable approach to economic and social development. Underpinned by a rights-based agenda, the ILO has a unique advantage in its access to the workplace, workers and business. This makes ILO ideally positioned to
- empower countries, improve their skills and know-how, better protect incomes and provide social security schemes;
- formulate policies aimed at increasing productivity, improving access to jobs and reducing vulnerability;
- eliminate human rights abuses resulting from exploitative forms of employment including child labour and forced labour.
ILO actions in these areas have had an impact on millions of people in the workplace and in communities around the world. Through projects funded by donors, the ILO has helped free tens of thousands of forced labourers and children trapped in child labour, and over 1 million workers have received technical assistance on how to address HIV/AIDS in the workplace. Jobs have been created through enterprise development, labour laws have been revised to provide better protection for workers while maintaining competitiveness, and institutions have been established to facilitate dialogue between governments, employers and workers and to avoid costly labour disputes.