Questions and Answers

Towards the universal ratification of Convention No. 144

As it moves towards the celebration of its centenary in 2019, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has launched a campaign to promote the universal ratification of the Tripartite Consultation (International Labour Standards) Convention, 1976 (No.144).

Comment | 06 November 2017
Why campaign for the universal ratification of Convention No. 144?
The Convention on Tripartite Consultation (International Labour Standards), 1976 (No.144), promotes the application of a founding principle of the ILO: bringing together governments, employers and workers through tripartite social dialogue to develop, implement and promote international labour standards governing all aspects of the world of work.

The ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization, adopted unanimously at the International Labour Conference in 2008, identified Convention No. 144 as a “priority” Convention, one of the four most significant ILO instruments from the viewpoint of governance.

What are the benefits of ratifying and implementing Convention No. 144?
The ratification and implementation of Convention No. 144 offer governments and employers’ and workers organizations a platform for consultation about international labour standards and ILO matters in general. As such, the Convention promotes a culture of dialogue between the tripartite actors and builds trust amongst them. Social and labour policies that are based on effective tripartite consultation with representatives of government, employers’ and workers’ organizations help ensure informed decisions and result in increased commitment and ownership by all stakeholders involved. ILO research has shown that countries with well-established and effective national social dialogue institutions fare better in times of economic, social and political crises. Such institutions also facilitate tripartite discussions that shape the future of work.

How does Convention No. 144 relate to the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda?
Social dialogue is an essential tool for advancing the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, whose implementation requires active engagement of the tripartite actors in the world of work: governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations.

It is particularly relevant to the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Goal 8 “Decent work and economic growth” and Goal 16 “Peace, justice and strong institutions”. Targets 16.6 and 16.7 call for the development of effective, accountable and transparent institutions to ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels.

Social dialogue is also relevant to other SDGs, including Goal 1 on “Ending poverty”, Goal 5 on “Achieving gender equality” and Goal 10 on “Reducing inequalities.”

What is required from countries that ratify Convention No. 144?
Convention No. 144 does not entail significant additional costs or legislative reforms to implement its provisions, and its requirements are within the reach of all ILO member States.

Convention No. 144 and its accompanying Recommendation No. 152 offer guidance on how countries may undertake to organize effective tripartite consultations. The Convention offers flexibility, enabling countries to establish procedures in accordance with their national circumstances. However, at a minimum, tripartite consultations on international labour standards and ILO-related activities should be undertaken at least once a year and through written communications, if they are found appropriate and sufficient by those involved in the consultative procedures. To be considered “effective”, consultations must take place prior to the taking of a final decision.

A promotional brochure provides information on Convention No. 144 and its current ratifications. As of October 2017, Convention No. 144 has been ratified by 139 countries, representing three-quarters of the ILO’s member States.

Let’s aim to celebrate universal ratification of Convention No. 144 by the ILO Centenary in 2019!

For further information please contact Angelika Muller, Social Dialogue and Tripartism Unit, Governance and Tripartism Department mullera@ilo.org.